TAFEP Hero 2023 Nov
human resources online

Do differences in expectations lead to the gender pay gap?


In line with Equal Pay Day (10 April), CareerBuilder surveyed more than 800 hiring and HR managers and more than 800 workers to find out if men and women really get equal pay for equal work.

Unfortunately, the survey revealed that 32% of women do not think they are making the same pay as their male counterparts with similar experience and qualifications compared to only 12% of men. Women are also more likely to feel they don't have the same career advancement opportunities as men with the same skills and qualifications - 30% of women compared to 12% of men.

Digging deeper, data showed differences in career and pay expectations between the two genders.

Men are more likely to expect higher job levels during their career - 29% of them think they will reach a director level or higher, compared to 22% of women. At the same time, 25% of women never expect to reach above an entry-level role, compared to 9% of men.  Almost a third of women (31%) think they've hit a glass ceiling within their organisation.

When it comes to pay, more than a third of women (35%) don't expect to reach a salary over US$50,000 during their career, compared to 17% of men, while roughly half of men (47%) expect to reach a six-figure salary, compared to 22% of women.

The survey, however, doesn't show whether this difference expectation is the cause of the pay gap, or if it's the other way around where the existing pay gap causes women to expect less.

ALSO READ: $10,000 gender pay gap in the HR profession

CareerBuilder's survey also found women tend to be less satisfied with their development opportunities. Only 34% of women are satisfied with career advancement opportunities at their current employer, compared to 44% of men. Women are also less likely to be satisfied with training and learning opportunities at their employer than men (43% to 55%).

Interestingly, half of HR managers thought female workers make the same wage as their male counterparts at their organisation, and 35% said they would hope they do. But more than one in 10 (15%) employers said they do not believe female workers make the same wage as their male counterparts at their organisation.

Thankfully, almost all employers 94% think there should be equality of pay in the U.S. But, when it comes to acting on it, they're not too sure.

More than four in five (82%) of employers said there should be transparency of pay in the U.S. On the other hand, 42% were of the opinion that proposed legislation that prohibits employers from asking job candidates for their salary history will help close the gender pay gap since salary histories cannot be discussed.

Photo / 123RF

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