Gender Disparities in Pay and Career Choice Among Postdoctoral Researchers

A group of researchers from the University of Chicago, the University of Arkansas, Washington University in St. Louis, the American Medical Association, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center have conducted a survey of postdoctoral researchers in the United States. They found a significant “gender effect” in terms of pay and career choice. The study is the first comprehensive look at postdoc working conditions in a decade.

The survey found that on average, male postdocs were paid $47,678 while women were paid $46,477. The small pay disparity remained after the research team accounted for age, ethnicity, years since graduation, and other characteristics.

Additionally, the researchers found that men were more likely than women to have a same-gender mentor, be a non-U.S. citizen, and be pursuing a career in engineering or physical sciences, fields where salaries are traditionally higher. The researchers found that women tended to be paid less than men in all fields except physical sciences, where women postdocs earned slightly more than men.

The full study, “Research: United States National Postdoc Survey Results and the Interaction of Gender, Career Choice and Mentor Impact,” was published in eLife. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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