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More women in unpaid internships: A 'major' issue

An intern's desk.

A 2009 study by the research group Intern Bridge found women are about 77 percent more likely to take unpaid internships than their male counterparts. Dr. Philip Gardner, the lead researcher on that study, said women are more likely to major in subjects that lead to internships in education, non-profit work and social services. Still, Gardner said, a paid internship isn't necessarily better.

"We've got really good unpaid internships. And we have crappy unpaid internships," Gardner said. "And we have really good paid internships and we have crappy paid internships."

Rose Corteau, a rising senior at Williams College, who spent the summer working as an unpaid intern at a luxury lifestyle magazine in Washington D.C., said she believes more women work in unpaid internships than men because "I just feel like guys wouldn't accept [unpaid internships] as easily," adding that her male classmates are more likely to take internships in "consulting and ibanking," while her female classmates are more likely to major in creative fields.

About the author

Noel King is a reporter for Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty desk.

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