Does the "Weaker Sex"' Feel Weaker in the Workplace?
Do women differ from men in their expectations about obtaining a degree? Do women actually spend more money? Do men or women seek higher positions? The experts participating in the 2009-2010 Graduate Career Tracking Programme lead by Educatio Public Services Nonprofit LLC sought answers to these and other questions when they questioned nearly eight thousand students on the subject.
It is well known that discrimination between sexes is still present on the labour market; however in addition to the facts, we were also interested in the opinions of young people. Having summarised their views, it is clear that women marked their typical net average salaries HUF 25 000 lower than men. This difference persisted even when students were asked about the income required to maintain their living standards.
Last summer, during the 2009-2010 Graduate Career Tracking Research Programme survey nearly eight thousand young people-university and college students-were asked about their vision of the future, their plans related to their studies and their prospects on the labour market. Having summarised the data, analysts clearly saw that women consider their situation to be less favourable than men's. This means that in gaining a degree representatives of the female sex are less motivated by good salaries, on the contrary, they demand lower salaries for their work than men working in the same field. Female students seek to avoid unemployment with a higher education degree, so they are looking for safety, social feedback and appreciation. The drive of the other gender is rather toward achieving a higher salary and a leading position.
What advantages do you expect from having a degree?
(Source: Graduate career tracking 2009-2010)
The situation is the same elsewhere
It can be stated from the research data produced during the 2009-2010 Graduate Career Tracking Programme that female students undervalue themselves on the labour market. This may also have a basis in reality; the reduction in wage differential between men and women is not stated as an objective in the member states of the European Union without good reason. According to a survey by the European Commission presented in 2009 the disadvantage in wage terms of women working in the same position as men was only 15 per cent in 2007, while the same disadvantage had risen to 17.4 percent two years later.
Do women feel less valuable in work?
The results of the survey are in line with the above, since student responses show that women present lower average values than men in the assessment of income both on a general and a personal level. Thus representatives of the female sex marked a lower amount in determining the general salary in their profession just as they did when they were asked about the income required to ensure an appropriate living standard for themselves.
Average Net Wages of New Graduates in Specialist Areas Asked
(Source: Graduate career tracking 2009-2010)
In determining the typical net average salaries for a profession, on average female students marked HUF 25 000 lower amounts than men, which means that they expect that much lower salary when they are employed.
As we have mentioned, women not only lag behind men in terms of assessing their financial opportunities, but to a similar extent in terms of their financial demands as well. An average female student would be able to achieve an appropriate living standard from HUF 177 308, while men marked an average HUF 201 520 as an appropriate net salary for themselves. It is interesting that women, who are reputed to spend more, would make their living from a lower salary than men in their own estimation. The only exception to this is in the technical field where women would like to have more money. In other fields of employment, however, there is a 9-10 per cent difference in how much the representatives of the two sexes think they are worth. The greatest difference is seen in the expectations of men and women studying in law and administration, and social sciences, where the representatives of the female sex rate themselves 13 per cent lower in terms of the salary they expect. This means a significant difference of HUF 27-30 000, thus they would achieve their living from that much less money. The difference certainly also arises from the fact that women and men enter different professions in different proportions. It is a known fact, for example, that in less well-paid jobs-for example teaching-the proportion of women is higher. It is worth therefore examining the expectations of salaries within the different educational fields.
Let's examine the details!
According to the research prepared on the basis of responses from higher education students, on average humanities students anticipate salaries of HUF 110 000 when starting their careers, independently of gender. However there is a difference in how much they think is necessary to make a living: men would like to have HUF 177 000, while HUF 162-163 000 would be enough for women.
The responses of medical and health care students are also in line with this with average salaries of around HUF 102 000, however, men considered HUF 214 000 and women HUF 193 000 to be optimal.
Students in law and administration attach a higher average salary to their profession: both genders marked the amount of HUF 140 000 as an expectable salary. The difference is also seen in demands for salary, since men would like to earn HUF 239 000, while women would accept HUF 30 000 less.
The situation is the opposite in the field of economics: the opinions of the two sexes differ on the present starting salary. Men think that young graduates earn approximately HUF 147 000, while women estimate it lower, approximately HUF 136 000. However they completely "agree" on the salary they would consider as appropriate: both sexes would make their living from close to HUF 198 000.
In social sciences women estimated a salary of HUF 126 000, while the same figure is higher by HUF 9000 for men. The difference triples in terms of demands, that is women would be satisfied with a salary of HUF 183 000, while men would like to earn HUF 27 000 more monthly. The situation is similar among students studying sciences too: the estimated average salary is HUF 5000 lower (HUF 120 000) among women than men, and this difference also exists in the amount they would like to earn, which is HUF 168 000 in the case of the female sex.
Male students in the technical field estimate the salary of fresh graduates to be around HUF 172-173 000, while the same figure is approximately HUF 163 000 among women. Interestingly, in this field women would demand higher salaries to maintain their living standards: HUF 4000 more than the HUF 210 000 deemed as optimal by men.