The Wage Gap Exists for MBAs, Too

Amy C. EdmondsonThere’s no doubt about it: going to business school can boost a woman’s career. In a recent survey of MBA graduates by Bloomberg Businessweek, women who earned an MBA six to eight years ago reported that their degree increased their earning potential and connected them to a powerful network of fellow alumni. They’re also pretty happy with what they’re doing: 64 percent of women described themselves as “very satisfied” with their current job.Here’s the thing, though: the men they graduated with are making more money. In some cases, it’s a lot more money.Bloomberg found that six to eight years post-MBA, women are making about 80 percent of what men make…which sounds pretty familiar to us.The gap is a lot smaller immediately post-graduation, when women make an average of $98,000 and men average $105,000. But six years later, women are making $140,000 to men’s $175,000.They’re blaming the disparity on a few usual suspects. The fact that male MBAs are more likely to self-select into higher-paying industries (like finance) plays a role, but so does the fact that men earn more in yearend bonuses. And even within individual companies, the distance between men and women can be striking: for instance, the Bank of America men surveyed are making $61,000 more on average than their female counterparts.If you want to help close the wage gap for all women (MBA or no), here are five things you can do today for equal pay.