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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Despite improving job market, women still have work to do

    Man or woman, you probably care about getting a job after graduation. The difference is, it’ll be easier if you’re a man.

    A recent report by The Associated Press on the job market suggests new college graduates face the best market in years. Members of the class of 2012 began college in 2008, around the same time that Lehman Brothers collapsed, and were essentially insulated from the market during the lowest point of the financial crisis.

    Of course, students were still aware of the struggling job market, and most college students who wanted to get a “good job” after graduation pursued summer internships and networked to prepare for the potentially demoralizing months after graduation.

    That hard work is expected to pay off. Approximately 6.9 million jobs were eliminated between Sept. 2008 and Aug. 2010. In the past year and a half, 3.1 million have been created.

    A 2011 survey of 444 college graduates by Rutgers University found that three out of four graduates have had at least one full-time job. In fact, 80 percent found their first job while still in college or within six months after graduating. Graduates with a full-time job reported a median salary of $28,000. However, the average earnings were nearly 15 percent higher if the graduate had completed an internship while in college.

    These claims of improvement inspire hope, but the numbers can’t overshadow an ever-present problem of gender disparity. Male college graduates had a median salary of $30,000, while female graduates only earned a median salary of $28,000.

    Women graduating with a business degree will face prejudice throughout their careers. In a survey by Catalyst, 46 percent of businesswomen polled said the greatest impediment to their success in business was “exclusion from informal networks,” like golf matches.

    Informal networks — casual sports games, after-work beers and days on the golf course — forge bonds in business, so that when business gets tough, relationships endure.

    The problem is that women are usually left out of these networks.

    Still, the outlook’s not all bleak. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore were recently accepted into exclusive golf club Augusta National. Their inclusion into the “boys club” for CEOs is a sign of overdue progress.

    As college graduates breathe a little easier about finding employment after graduation, women should look to role models like Rice and Moore. Throw caution to the wind. Don’t hesitate to take a golf club to the glass ceiling and smash your way through.

    — Hollie Dowdle is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions.

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