Closing the Gender Wage Gap for UCLA Graduates

The UCLA Anderson School of Management is giving graduates a leg up in salary negotiations — and the numbers prove it.
October 17, 2023
“12twenty is truly transformative in terms of narrowing the wage gap that exists. If only it could be rolled out all across the country!”
Emily TaylorDirector of MBA Career Education & Communication at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management

In 2016, Emily Taylor made a surprising discovery about UCLA’s MBA graduates — the wage gap between male and female students had nearly disappeared.

As the Director of MBA Career Education & Communication at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, Emily was acutely aware of the wage disparity female graduates faced. According to 2014 U.S. census data, women earned an average of 79 cents for every dollar men earned in the same jobs. While that number has since risen to nearly 84% according to 2023 Bureau of Labor statistics, there is still a long way to go to achieve wage equity.

That’s why it was easy for Taylor to take note when she found that, after adopting 12twenty, UCLA Anderson’s female graduates were now earning 98.6 for every dollar male graduates across 12twenty schools earned. While still shy of truly equal pay, the figure was still miles ahead of the national average at the time. The question was — how did it happen?

How Students Are Using 12twenty Data to Get Paid What They’re Worth

From the beginning, 12twenty was designed to help schools capture more outcome data from their students and alumni and turn that data into actionable insights for university leadership, career center administrators, and students.

With 12twenty’s outcome data and analytics tools, UCLA was able to not only gain a better understanding of graduate earnings, but also benchmark that data against hundreds of other leading programs. Students can even view salary data by industry, location, demographics, and many other attributes to get an accurate idea of the wage their degree should command. Taylor believes student access to this 12twenty data is the primary reason the wage gap narrowed so dramatically for UCLA’s female MBA graduates.

“They know exactly what their peers are getting and they can demand that on the market,” she said.

UCLA isn’t alone. The same year Taylor reported her findings, female MBA students across all of 12twenty’s partner schools made an average of 97 cents for every one dollar their male peers earned — a figure that’s risen steadily since 2002.

The Hidden Cost of Low Early-Career Wages

Closing the wage gap early in careers is particularly important since salaries typically only increase incrementally each year. Starting with a higher, competitive salary right out of school is crucial to making more over time. Entering the workforce below fair market value can result in a lifetime’s worth of lost wage potential, and this concern only increases for women, who may be losing even more.

Of course, it’s not only women who benefit from access to these salary insights. Taylor also reported that base salaries have increased by 7% every year that UCLA Anderson has used 12twenty.

“[Students] have what I like to tell them is going to be the most easy negotiation of their entire lives,” she said.

If you want to help your graduates make what they’re worth and jumpstart their career earnings, book a demo today to see how 12twenty makes it easy.

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