Inconsistent pay scale, what should I do?

I moved states to start a new job 2 months ago. I graduated with an M.S. in electrical engineering and I have an EIT certification. It took several months for me to land a job, as I was either “overqualified” or “under-experienced” due to the masters degree.

I got a job that is in a similar field as to what I did my masters degree in. It being my first job, I had no clue what the pay scale was going to be. They gave me $36/hr. It was lower than I was expecting, but it’s a VERY relaxed and fun work environment.

Everything was good until yesterday afternoon when I found out that 1.5 years ago they hired someone on with a BS and no EIT for $37/hr. Around the same time they hired someone with a BS and an EIT certification for $40/hr.

I looked it up and I’m in the bottom 9% of hourly earners for electrical engineering in this area and I HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE. I’m now feeling like they are underpaying me. I’m worried that it’s because I’m a woman.

How should I proceed? I have a quarterly review in October, where I could negotiate. But that seems so long from now. It’s hard to repay debt and live on this much money. I could also just set up a meeting with my boss to negotiate.

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