March 29, 2005
At one time white professionals, both male and female, made more than their minority counterparts, but census results taken in 2003 show among woman the trend is changing.
In fact, black and Asian women with bachelor's degrees earn slightly more than comparable white woman. The reasons are not clear, but experts said some of it has to do with staying in the workforce.
Black woman tend to return to work faster after pregnancy and sometimes hold more than one job.
"They gain more work experience, they might be working for the same company for a longer period of time, and this is going to get them more experience as well as promotions," said Mary Stegmaier of UVa Politics and Economics.
Although the salary trend seems to be between college educated woman, that is not the case among men. The study shows college-educated white men are still ahead when it comes to salary.
In 2003, those with bachelor's degrees earned an average of $66,000 a year and black men earned the least with an average of $45,000. Some experts attribute the gap to workplace discrimination.
"Promotions or good jobs go to people who are perceived to being good workers, often this is applying stereotypes," said Stegmaier.
Figures also show there are more college-educated women in their late 20s than there are men. The overall number of graduates rose again in 2004.