Female students have lower salary expectations than their male counterparts across a number of sectors, according to research by Universum, which is part of IrishJobs.ie.

The study found that male graduates had higher expectations for their starting salaries in all seven of the sectors surveyed, with some seeing considerably larger gaps than others.

There was a 14% gap between male and female expectations in Law, according to Universum, while in business and economics its was 8%.

The smallest gap was in engineering, where the difference between the genders' salary expectations was 5%.

The research was based on responses from more than 10,000 Irish-based students and was conducted between October 2020 and March 2021.

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It was published ahead of the Gender Pay Information Bill 2019 being signed into law, which will require firms with 250 or more employees to publish details on the differences in pay based on gender, along with details of how they plan to address any gap.

While the survey did show a significant gap in expectations existing across the sectors, it also showed the gap narrowing somewhat in most areas.

Law was the only sector to see the gender gap widen – from 12% last year to 14% in 2021.