A recent study of socioeconomic inequality at elite colleges by The Equal Opportunity Project brought an economic disparity to light — the gender wage gap is noticeably wider among Ivy League graduates, with female graduates making about 30 percent less than their male counterparts.
The study found the assumption that students “will be better off financially if they graduate from ... an elite college” to still be true, but “far truer for men,” The Atlantic reported. Harvard professors of economics Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, who have published several studies on the wage gap, offered a few explanations to The Atlantic for this gap.
They have found that Ivy League graduates generally tend to enter industries with the highest salaries, which also happen to be the ones with the largest wage gaps. For example, finance and management consulting employ 46 percent of Penn graduates, as well as the majority of Ivy League graduates.
Additionally, these industries tend to have less standardized promotion practices at the higher end of the pay scale, and rely more on self-advocacy. Women in general are less likely to negotiate or be successful at negotiations than men, according to Cornell University economics professor Francine Blau.
Goldin and Katz also found that women with a “high-demand, low-flexibility job, and a wealthy spouse — a position many Ivy League women find themselves in,” are more likely to either take a step down in or leave the workplace altogether, whether to accommodate her partner’s career or to take care of children.
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