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Millennial Women Closing and Even Reversing the Gender Wage Gap

By September 7, 2010

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With one daughter in college and one attending next fall, I worry about covering tuition. Sometimes I ask myself, "What does a college education get you, really?"

Of course that's a rhetorical question.

For hundreds of years, the lack of an education has kept women down. Only in the last few generations have women been able to attend college. In recent years, the enrollment and graduation rates of females have significantly outstripped males. And all that education has made a difference. An earth-shaking one for this latest generation of employees -- a group known as the millennials.

You may have heard the buzz last week about a new study which reveals that young women are earning, on average, 8% more than men in the same age group. These higher earners -- under 30, unmarried, childless, living in cities -- are, in some locales, earning as much as 21% more than men. How can this be?

Many factors play a role, but education is the biggest among them.

The study was conducted by Reach Advisors and as its president -- James Chung -- told me via email:

For this particular study, we went into it trying to figure out what happens in an era when we have a generation of young women who are 1.5 times more likely than men to graduate from college.  It has to show up somewhere, at some point, and I think we're now seeing it...at least among this specific segment of women....

[W]e're pretty sure that this dramatic shift in educational attainment that's been underway for the past few decades is culminating in what will be one of this decade's biggest shifts in the consumer marketplace.  And tons of fascinating issues underneath.

"Fascinating" is actually a mild term to describe what's taking place -- the closing (and reversal) of the gender wage gap...at least among young, childless women in urban areas. But how exactly are millennial women changing the status quo in the workplace, and why only in cities?

You'll have to read more on Reach Advisors and Chung's findings in the story below.

Related article:

Gender Pay Gap Closing with Young Women Earning More Than Men

More on the millennials:

Comments

September 7, 2010 at 12:14 pm
(1) Martha Z. Martinez says:

Wow, this is wonderful news! I’m so glad that we are headed in the right direction. A college education does open doors most of the time. But you don’t climb up the ladder just for being book smart, you need to have common sense and drive too!

September 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(2) Alkia says:

Education is very important but i still believe that in order to get in the door and receive money for your education you must know someone. It is all about who you know and then your education will follow. I am glad that women are starting to get equal pay but in some places men are still getting preferential treatment.

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