CBS News reported last week that college seniors would be bestowed with a great gift come graduation: jobs. However, women entering the workforce may be left wondering if their presents got lost in the mail.
Dr. Rachel Elahee, psychologist and author of the book Choose You! Reignite Your Passion for Life, said women have a harder time finding jobs out of college because the current culture is still more male dominated and male friendly. This causes women to be less bold when taking risks.
" … Women may not be as comfortable being bold and really going after the opportunities that present themselves," she said. "So women feel like they need to have a lot more of a criteria bed than men, and men think, overall, that if they meet a few of the criteria, 'Hey let's go for it,' and it pans out."
Furthermore, Elahee claimed women of color, compared with white women, have an even harder time.
Women may be less confident and less comfortable going for jobs in the male-dominated world, Elahee described, but discriminatory beliefs can also favor men. Elahee said this way of thinking is sometimes "automatic."
"Sally may not need be ready for an advancement right now because she just had a baby," is one example of how an employer may cast off a woman for a promotion.
"Well John just had a baby, too," Elahee says to that.
Last year, Bloomberg Businessweek conducted a study with 25,000 students across 132 colleges and found that men had an easier time getting jobs in several fields, including investment banking, health care, real estate, government, nonprofits, entertainment and advertising. In fact, across all industries, a gap of about 5 percent existed, favoring men.
Jessica Kennedy, a professor at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, told Bloomberg that it's harder for women to balance appearing confident but not over-assertive.
"It is more difficult as a woman to be perceived positively as both competent and likable, relative to what a man faces," she told Bloomberg.
Last year, research from Cornell University found that simply looking like a woman could hurt a woman in an interview.
However, if you don't possess a set of fallopian tubes, there may be some hope yet.
Although they took a hard hit during the recession, men are actually gaining more jobs than women — about 768,000 to be exact, according to a recent Pew research study. During this same time from June 2009 to May 2011, women lost 218,000 jobs.
The Society for Human Resources Management, the world's largest HR membership organization, reported a positive hiring outlook for 2015 grads. Already, one-third of organizations, about 35 percent, have already hired soon-to-be graduates to start work before or after receiving their diplomas, and of the remaining two-thirds, 71 percent plan to hire grads. This is an 18 percent increase over 2013.
"During the recession, many companies may not have focused recruiting efforts on college graduates because of a lack of openings and limited turnover. But now we are beginning to see entry-level hiring pick up," said Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM, in a release. "Compared to recent years, 2015 college graduates can be optimistic in their job search."
And although companies are hiring more graduates than they did during the recession, they're not exactly paying them any more. In fact, 81 percent of companies offered graduates about the same pay as they did in 2014.
For those who struggle to find jobs after walking across the stage, Robert J. LaBombard, CEO of GradStaff said it's not a lack of opportunity but a lack of efficiency.
"Many don't know which jobs are a fit for their skills and interests, and others don't know how to plan and execute an effective job-search strategy," he said in an email regarding why so few undergraduates leave school with no job in hand.
He cites that less than 10 percent of students visit their on-campus career services. And sometimes, college senior just aren't looking in the right places. LaBombard claims more than 75 percent of new entry-level jobs are with small- and mid-sized companies — most of which don't recruit on college campuses.
"In short, it's inefficiency — not lack of opportunity — that's restricting entry-level hiring and preventing graduating seniors from finding good professional positions," LaBombard said. "The jobs are there. The candidates are ready. They simply aren't finding each other."
Caroline Glenn is the News Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @byCarolineGlennor email her at CarolineG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.
Alex Wexelman is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.