Women face pay gap right after college

Women face a salary gap with men almost the minute they graduate from college, a new study shows, raising concerns among some women that they encounter a glass ceiling even at the beginning of their careers.

The study, by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), found women are paid 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male peers even one year after college. A college education remains the most sure path to a good job for both men and women, but the study suggests men have a leg up in getting a return on that investment, at least in some fields.

“We’re paying the same cost for our college education, but it’s a known fact that we’re not being paid as much as our male counterparts,” said Madeline Greene, 22, a 2008 Northmont High School graduate who recently graduated from Minnesota State University.

Fifty years after the passage of the landmark 1962 Equal Pay Act, women’s issues — including salary inequality — have proven a consistent theme in the presidential campaign. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which extended the statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit, was a hot topic in the presidential debates.

Why is there still unequal pay in 2012 after years of government action for equality? What can women do to reverse the cycle of unequal pay? How can women demand fair pay in the workplace?

Find out what the experts have to say in the rest of the story. This is our print-exclusive story for the week, and can only be found in our newspaper.

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