A professor finds answers to wage disparity
by examining the ground zero of careers.
BY DYLAN WALSH
Illustration by Jeannie Phan
Just decades ago, few women pursued
MBAs. Today, in some schools, women make
up almost half of those earning management
credentials. Nonetheless, it has been widely
reported that men graduating with an MBA
degree earn up to a five-figure premium in
starting salary over women graduating with
the same degree. Why is this the case?
Is it because women and men choose
different aspects of managerial careers?
Different industries or companies?
Different jobs? What causes this gap?
“It’s not unequivocal,” says Adina Sterling,
an assistant professor of organizational
behavior at Stanford Graduate School of
Business. “In thinking about this problem,
internships were a nice setting to look for
one possible answer.”
Adina Sterling is an assistant professor
of organizational behavior and the
Shanahan Family Faculty Scholar for
2017–2018 at Stanford GSB.