43% of female students are confident that gender will not impact pay and reward


Less than half (43%) of female student respondents are confident that their gender will have no bearing on pay and reward in their future careers, according to research by the 30% Club and KPMG.

The Think future study, which surveyed 20,652 students across 21 UK universities, also found that almost three-quarters (73%) of male respondents believe that their gender will not impact their pay and reward.

The research also found:

  • 42% of female respondents are confident that their gender will not affect their career progression. This compares to 72% of male respondents.
  • Almost half (48%) of all respondents feel that a sector’s reputation for gender equality would affect their decision to work within that sector.
  • 74% of female respondents are confident that they will be able to advance their careers as far as they want.
  • Around three-quarters (72%) of all respondents want to earn a high salary, while 93% want to be involved in work that makes a difference, and less than half (40%) want a role with power and status.

Brenda Trenowden (pictured), global chair of the 30% Club, said: “The fact that less than half of women feel confident in their chances of receiving equal pay to men even before they enter the workplace is a striking statistic.

“The findings also highlight the stubborn issue of ‘gendered’ sectors, which continues to restrict talent pools in certain industries. Financial services, for example, was the fourth most popular sector choice for men and only the 12th most popular choice for women.

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“Most significantly, the study’s insights into the mind-set and motivations of the current student population clearly underline a pressing need to think more innovatively about talent management and about how we can better support and inform the early slice of the pipeline before it hits the workplace.”

Helena Eccles, founder of the Think future study and an undergraduate student at the University of Cambridge, added: “Generation Z students are driven by a profit with purpose mentality, they want to do worthwhile work and be rewarded well for their contribution to society. This new cohort of students, who are about to enter the working world, have a different set of wants, needs and aspirations, and businesses need to readily adapt to these demands.”