Publication Date

May 1993


This study examined the starting salaries paid by over 250 employers to 2,800 university graduates. Of the overall female-male salary difference of $4,396, the majority, or $3,175 (72%), occurred between employers; $1,221 (28%) occurred within employers. One policy implication is that within-organization policies such as pay equity could address up to $1,221 (28%) of the female-male pay difference. Although adjustment for qualifications such as degree level, grade point average, and college major reduced the pay difference between women and men, our findings indicate that, on average, the same employer pays graduating women 3.5% to 5.8% less than graduating men with similar qualifications.


Suggested Citation
Graham, M. E., & Gerhart, B. (1993). Starting salary differences between women and men: Organization-level findings and an analysis of current policy options (CAHRS Working Paper #93-15). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.