Straight out of university, women can expect to earn bigger salaries than their male friends, according to new figures released by the Press Association (PA).
In fact, when both sexes are aged between 22 and 29, females will receive an average of £1,111 more over the course of a year.
This doesn't last long, however – once they hit their 30s, the difference is quickly flipped in favour of men. A man reaching his 30th birthday in 2006 took home an average of £8,775 more than a woman of the same age.
The PA used 2006-2013 data from the Office for National Statistics to compare average pay differences over the seven year period.
Ann Pickering, HR director at O2, said the research revealed how much additional work was required to make salaries even.
“While women are earning slightly more than men in their 20s, they are still overtaken by men later in life - and the reason is simple. Women are playing catch-up when it comes to reaching senior well-paid positions,” she said.
Nicky Morgan, secretary of state of education and minister for women and equalities, said:
This government is committed to going further and faster so women of all ages can fulfil their potential.That is why we will be requiring larger companies to publish their gender pay gap - to ensure the economy fully benefits from women's talents and fairly rewards them.