Report Uncovers Significant Gender Pay Gap Among Women of Color MBA Graduates

A new report from the Forté Foundation, a nonprofit consortium of companies and business schools dedicated to advancing women in business, has found earning a master of business administration degree (MBA) is not enough to mitigate the gender pay gap, particularly for women of color.

In their first job after earning an MBA, all populations showed a large increase in compensation compared to their positions prior to their MBA education. However, despite this financial boost, the pay gap for women of color significantly widens among business professionals after earning an MBA. On average, women of color have experienced a 117 percent increase in salary from their pre-MBA job to their current role, compared to a 135 percent increase among White women, a 142 percent increase among White men, and a 170 percent increase among men of color.

Gender and racial pay gaps were also found when examining salaries for “line” roles, which are positions with profit and loss responsibility. On average, women of color holding line positions earn $87,364 less than men of color, $67,326 less than White men, and $47,451 less than White women in similar roles. Women of color were the only population where holding a line position earned, on average, less than a staff position.

In addition to compensation, the report revealed gender and racial disparities in other areas of the business field. Women of color were the least likely population to receive a promotion, showed the lowest levels of job satisfaction, and were more likely to state they had plans to seek a new position within the next year.

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