Most employed adults believe men and women should be paid equally for equal work, however only 60 percent of U.S. women believe men and women at their company are paid equally, according to the results of a new survey.
Conducted in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland, the survey—for job review site Glassdoor—asked more than 8,000 employed adults about salary inequity between men and women. Of those surveyed, 2,000 workers are from the U.S.
Most of the survey respondents (89 percent) believe that men and women should be paid equally for equal work. The number is a little higher in the U.S., where 93 percent of those surveyed are in favor of equal compensation.
While the respondents are in favor of equal pay, many don’t see it happening. Only 70 percent of those surveyed believe men and women are paid equally for equal work at their employer. What’s worse though, is that when broken out by gender and country, the survey shows fewer U.S. women (60 percent) than men (78 percent) believe men and women at their company are compensated equally for the same work.
When people are able to evaluate a company based on employees’ ratings, one of the consequences of unequal pay is that potential candidates may be leery of working at a company where a gender-based pay gap is well known. Indeed, in the U.S., more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the survey respondents said they are not likely to apply for a job at a company where they believe a pay gap exists between men and women doing similar work. What’s more striking is that when comparing by gender, 81 percent of the U.S. women and 55 percent of the men responding to the survey said they are not likely to apply for a job at a company where they believe a pay gap exists.
With these numbers in mind, the question then becomes, What can be done to fix gender-based pay gaps? Interestingly, nearly half (45 percent) of U.S. employees who say there is a pay gap at their employer believe new company policies around pay and compensation will help close the inequality. Furthermore, 34 percent of the American respondents and 27 percent of respondents across all countries stated they believe greater internal pay transparency such as HR sharing salary figures for all roles is the way to improve the gap.
What’s also of note is that last month, President Barack Obama proposed a federal rule requiring employers with more than 100 workers to break down pay data according to gender, race and ethnicity—a disclosure previously only demanded of federal contractors. The measure aims to highlight pay discrimination across industries and occupations, as well as give the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission additional enforcement data. Obama specifically called out gender pay disparity in his remarks on the proposal, noting that women working full-time earn 79 cents to men’s $1.
It will be interesting to see if this new federal rule has any impact on the gender pay gap, and if so, what the impact is. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Do you believe men and women are paid equally for the same work at your employer?