A report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) reveals that only 41.6 per cent of graduate hires in 2014-15 were women, despite 58.4 per cent of all UK graduates being female (according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency).
The proportion has not improved in the past five years, even though 62.8 per cent of employers said they had strategies in place to improve gender diversity.
“Gender diversity is an issue which requires more of our attention,” said AGR Chief Executive Stephen Isherwood. “Although our data cannot explain why women aren’t securing more graduate placements, it indicates there is more to be done to attract female graduates who in turn need to make the most of the opportunities available.”
Despite the warning, the study indicated a 13.2 per cent increase in the number of graduate vacancies being offered compared to 2014. Graduates’ starting salaries also rose by an average of £1,000, to £28,000.
The law sector averaged the highest median salary, at £37,000 – healthily ahead of second-placed banking, at £31,250.