Gender pay gap widening as female graduate salaries stall

New figures show the pay gap between Australian female university graduates and their male colleagues more than doubled last year.

A report by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) says female graduates are losing the battle for pay equality, with the gap now reaching $5,000, up from $2,000 for the previous year.

The agency's 2012 GradStats report shows men's starting salaries increased over the past year to $55,000, while women's salaries stalled at $50,000.

The gap is highest in architecture and building, with $52,000 compared to $43,000, followed by dentistry, optometry and the law.

WGEA research executive manager Doctor Carla Harris says it is disturbing that women's salaries have stalled in the past year, especially since the majority of university graduates are women.

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"The lesson here is that the gender pay gap continues to have a very real impact on the bank balance of young women starting their careers," she said.

"I'm certain that any female school-leaver contemplating a career in dentistry, would be outraged knowing she can expect to earn more than $14,000 less than a man in her first year on the job."

Only seven occupations have women earning more than men, including pharmacy, Earth sciences and computer sciences.

Pharmacy leads the male inequality, with women earning $39,700, or 10.3 per cent more than men.

The report shows men and women earn the same in only three occupations - education, humanities and medicine.

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