2018-19 Ƶ American Fellow Hogai Aryoubi
Why It Matters

Education Doesn't Open Every Door

Education has long been viewed as the pathway to economic success. But while women have made great strides in advancing their educations in recent decades, they have not been as quick to reap the economic benefits of their college, graduate and professional degrees.

Today, women receive:

  • 61%Ǵdzٱ𲵰
  • 57%of bachelor’sdegrees
  • 59%of master’s degrees
  • 48%of both medical and law degrees

Yet despite this, women still do not have access to all of the same opportunitiesandexperiences as men on campuses.Research finds women are still largely “tracked” to lower-paying fields or areas of study.Afound that men dominate 9of the10college majors that lead to thehighest-payingjobs, all ten of which are in STEM fields.Women, by contrast, dominate6of the10lowest-paying majors, and are at or near parity with men in two others.

Alternate Career Paths

Women who do not continue their𳾾education past high school also face barriers: Men generally haveopen to themthan womendo. For instance, men participate in in themilitary, in the police force, as firefighters, in manufacturing and transportation jobs,and insuchindustriesas construction and plumbing. Additionally, men hold 3/4of the jobs requiring only a high school diploma that pay at least $35,000 a year (a higher wage than most entry-level service roles).

Other obstacles hindering women’s success include:

  • Women continue to experience high levels of bias in education, particularly in the high-paying STEM fields.
  • Female students are at a high risk for sexual harassment and assault on campus.
  • Many women combine childrearingresponsibilitieswith higher education:constitute around 11% of undergraduate students.
  • Women are disproportionately burdened by student debt: They hold almost two-thirds of outstanding student loan debt in the U.S. That’s about $929 billion.
The dome of Capitol Building, Washington DC, and the American flag against a blue sky.
Policy Center

Where We Stand: Higher Education

Ƶ is committed to making the dream of higher education and career and technical education a reality for all women who wish to pursue it. Read more about the specific policy measures we support.

Take Action

There are lots of ways to get involved with Ƶ’s work to advance gender equity. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of women and girls.