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Women expect lower graduate salaries than men, survey says

23 Sep 2020

Women entering the fields of business, IT and more expect to earn graduate salaries up to 14pc lower than men, according to a recent survey.

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Although there are plenty of opportunities out there for graduates at the moment, a new survey by has shed light on an important issue. It suggests that women in a number of industries in Ireland expect to earn lower graduate salaries than their male counterparts.

After surveying more than 11,000 students in business, IT, health and engineering between October 2019 and April 2020, said that women entering the IT industry after graduation expect to earn around 14pc less each year than men are expecting.

This is based on average salary expectations cited by participants, with men expecting a yearly wage of €39,409 and women expecting €34,401. The gap also grew by 4pc in last year, said.

For law graduates, women said they expected an average salary of €36,302, which is 12pc lower than the €41,339 expected by men. In terms of business graduates, women expect salaries 10.5pc lower than men in the same field (€32,213 and €36,017, respectively).

Orla Moran, general manager at, described the findings as “concerning”.

“Our research implies that gender pay disparity starts before graduates even enter the working world, with male graduates immediately expecting a stronger starting salary,” Moran said.

“The gap is most evident in the IT sector, despite the significant investments made by both Irish firms and global multinationals to encourage more females at undergraduate level to consider a career in the field of STEM.”’s research was conducted in advance of the Gender Pay Gap Information Bill, which is expected be signed into law later this year. The legislation will require companies with more than 250 employees to provide data on any discrepancies in salaries and bonuses between men and women, as well as how they will work to overcome associated issues.

“For employers, one of the most important steps to take in addressing pay disparities within their own organisation is to ensure that their employer brand incorporates a clear and meaningful commitment to gender pay equality,” Moran said.

“Changes like providing salary information on job descriptions or being clear about pay scales at the start of the recruitment process are some ways in which an organisation can demonstrate their commitment to fair and equal pay, which in turn will help to attract the best talent.

“Small actions by individual companies now are a good first step to ensuring that the gender pay gap shrinks rather than grows, and that our graduates and future leaders feel empowered to reach their full potential, regardless of gender.”

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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