Men, women, and money: Exploring the role of gender, gender-linkage of college major and career-information sources in salary expectations

Kenneth Sumner, Theresa J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Research focused on salary expectations consistently reports gender-based differences in expectations for entry and peak career. Although a number of variables (e.g., value placed on work-facets, fair pay standards) have been found to mediate the relationship between gender and salary expectations, little research has attempted to assess how expectations may be formed. Based on suggestions by Martin (1989) and social comparison theory, we examined the role that sources of career information (e.g., professors, family) play in shaping college students' salary expectations. Results suggest: (1) differences in entry level salary expectations were associated with gender-linkage of college major and differences in peak salary expectations were associated with gender and gender-linkage of college major, (2) women gathered more information from female sources than did men, and men gathered more information from male sources than did women, and (3) career information was not predictive of either entry or peak salary expectations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-839
Number of pages17
JournalSex Roles
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


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