Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

It's Graduation Time And Women MBAs Are A Bargain

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 19, 2011

Margo Medez-Penate sent me some very interesting statistics from Catalyst, the non-profit organization focused on advancing women in the workplace:

"According to our research, women MBA graduates earn, on average, $4,600 less than men MBA graduates in their first job out of school. We also found that mentoring benefits men the most: men with mentors received $9,260 more in their first post-MBA jobs than women with mentors."

Catalyst President and CEO, Ilene Lang, has a few words of wisdom for the class of 2011 on her blog Catalyzing:

Attention Class of 2011: Women start behind, and stay behind, equally skilled men after graduating from prestigious MBA programs.

In today's Take 5--a new Catalyzing feature highlighting five important Catalyst findings--we look at our research into our best and brightest: MBA grads from top business schools across the globe. A level playing field does not exist even for these high-potential women. Here's why:

1) Women MBA grads earn, on average, $4,600 less than men in their first job out of school. This is after taking into account number of years prior experience, job level, global region, industry, and parenthood.

2) Mentoring benefits men most: Men with mentors received $9,260 more in their first post-MBA jobs than women with mentors.

3) Men got more promotions than did women, even after taking into account prior work experience, time in role, starting level, industry, and region.

4) Men's salary growth outpaced that of women, perpetuating the gender gap established in the first job.

5) Each promotion in 2008 amounted to an extra 21% in compensation for men, while each promotion for women amounted to an extra 2%.

And FYI: Pay inequity is a reality--MBA or not. The typical woman loses $431,000 in pay over a 40-year career.

What would you do with that cash?


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