Glass ceiling persists among scientists

Females with science PhDs earn up to 40% less than their male counterparts

Male scientists, across several countries, earn up to 40 per cent more than their female counterparts, according to a new study published by Nature. The journal surveyed 10,500 scientists working in industry and academia and found that men’s salaries begin significantly overtaking women’s between three and five years after completing their PhD in Europe, and between six and 10 years in North America. The wage gap ranged from 18 to 40 per cent. The countries included in the study were Australia, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Canada and the United States. In Canada the average salary for male scientists is around $80,000, while it is around $65,000 for females.

In a commentary published in the same issue of Nature, Kathleen Christensen–Director of the Workplace, Work Force and Working Families programme at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation–wrote that the gap is the result of “an aggregate effect, over many years, of accumulating inequities in resources and respect.” Women, she added, “often start their careers with slightly lower salaries, in more poorly equipped labs, with fewer graduate students, and appointments to less-prestigious committees,” and “are less likely, typically because of family reasons, to go on the job market to jockey their salaries higher.”

Related: Knocking on the glass ceiling