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The Gender Pay Gap is Perpetuated by Young Women Who Choose Low-Paying Jobs

A UCL study has discovered that the gender pay gap is widely due to individual choices.

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By Jason Patterson | USA

The gender pay gap is by young female adults who choose jobs that pay less, a major study has found.

Even though teenage girls have a higher chance of attending a university, their male counterparts tend to major in professions with higher paying salaries, as the University College London (UCL)’s Institute for Education has shown in their latest study.

“Importance of recognizing the role of both boys’ and girls’ choices in perpetuating labor market inequalities” Professor Lucinda Platt, reported.

Shortly after she added that teenagers should be “encouraged and supported to think beyond gender roles and consider a range of future career options.”

Research has proven that girls thought they had a 71 percent chance of going to university, and 14 percent of girls were certain they would attend one.

On the other hand, with boys, the average expectation was 63 percent, and just under 10 percent were certain they would attend university.

They then asked what career aspirations the young people may have, and the average hourly wage for the occupations that girls aspired to was 27 percent lower than the boys.

Over 7,700 teenagers in the UK who are all part of the Millennium Cohort Study, a study which has followed their lives since they were born at the turn of the century.

When they were asked these questions at 14, the most popular jobs for both boys and girls included some highly-paid careers. However, the pay among the jobs girls aspired to was on average much lower.

In this study, they did not include the option of becoming a professional sports player due to the overwhelming majority wanting to play in the NFL and the NBA and according to the NCAA, only 1.7 percent of college football players and 0.08 percent of high school players play at any professional level. Only 1.3 percent of college hockey players and 0.1 percent of high school players play professionally. In basketball, only 1.2 percent of male and 0.9 percent of female college players play pro ball; for both, only 0.03 percent of high school players make it. And only 1 percent of college soccer players and 0.04 percent of high school players go pro.

Girls wanted to be either a medical profession, a secondary school teacher, a singer, the legal profession, a vet, a nurse or a midwife. For the boys, it was a professional sportsman, a software developer, an engineer, the army, or an architect.

Males and Females both favored jobs where the workforce was dominated by their own sex. Boys chose occupations with an average workforce that is 74 percent male, while girls chose jobs where women make up 59 percent of the workforce.

The final statements were by Dr. Sam Parsons, a co-author, saying he was surprised to find such “gendered differences” in young people’s aspirations. He said that “Despite aiming high academically and professionally, girls still appear to be aiming for less well-paid jobs.”

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