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By a Fifth

Female scientists and engineers in the UK make an average 20 percent less than their male peers do, according to a survey conducted by New Scientist and the science recruitment firm SRG.

"It goes without saying that this is wrong, and damaging to science. The field is badly paid as it is, and has well-known difficulties recruiting women," a related New Scientist piece notes. "The gender pay gap exacerbates both problems."

New Scientist and SRG surveyed 4,300 scientists, engineers, and academics, 49 percent of which were women.

They further report that the wage gap is smallest among younger scientists and engineers, but grows larger among older cohorts. Women between the ages of 25 and 34 make an average 2.5 percent less than their male peers, while women 55 years old or older make 35 percent less than men of the same age.

This, New Scientist says, is in line with other studies and indicates that women are paid less as soon as they enter the STEM workforce. It adds that about 11 percent of the gap is due to the motherhood penalty in which women with children tend to earn less.

A new law in the UK requires employers with more than 250 workers to disclose by this spring data on gender pay disparities, New Scientist adds. The Wellcome Trust Institute, for instance, has similarly reported that women working there make 21 percent less than their male colleagues.

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