More than 60% of chemistry doctorates go to men, but the field performs well on equal pay for men and women finding their first job

Far more men still receive chemistry doctorates in the US than women, but the pay gap between the sexes in chemistry among those starting work after a PhD is virtually nil, according to the latest data from the US National Science Foundation (NSF).

Almost 69% of doctoral recipients in the physical sciences were men in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. Among chemistry doctorates, 37% were female. For all science and engineering fields, the median annual salary for male doctorate recipients with definite post graduation plans in the US was $92,000 (£66,500), versus $74,000 for women – a 20% difference. Those figures were $45,000 and $43,625 for male and female science and engineering doctorate recipients planning to continue their postdoctoral studies, respectively.

However, the salary discrepancy was significantly smaller among chemistry doctorate recipients, where men were expected to earn $86,500 and women $83,000 – a difference of just 4%. The difference between the salaries of men and women who planned to take postdoctoral work was insignificant.

The new NSF data also tracked the citizenship of doctoral recipients in the US. Among all physical sciences and earth sciences doctoral recipients, more than 58% were US citizens or permanent residents, while 37% were temporary visa holders. The split was similar for chemistry.