Despite Societal Focus On Gender Equality, Nearly One In Three Women Believe They Are Not Paid Fairly

Staff Report

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

University of Phoenix has released its second-annual survey measuring perceptions of pay equality in the workplace. The online survey suggests that despite a continued focus by society on gender equality, there is still work to be done.

While the survey found that the majority of employed adults (73 percent) believe that men and women have equal pay opportunities at their workplace, nearly one in three (32 percent) women believe that they are not paid fairly. When asked if they had equal opportunity to show their worth in the workplace, 82 percent of men believed that they do. In comparison woman felt much less confident, with 72 percent, believing they have equal opportunity to show their worth.

“This survey reveals there still exists a gap between how women and men feel about gender workplace equality,” said Doris Savron, vice provost, colleges at University of Phoenix. “In general, men feel more positive about their pay, opportunity and pay equality. This is probably not a surprise to most people. However, in order to improve workplace equality, both men and woman must be mindful of these perceptions and work together to improve them.”

Perception differences between men and women regarding compensation in the workplace

While two out of three of employed adults feel their salary represents their worth to their employers, men are more likely than women to feel this way. The gap between genders was larger (10 percent) when asked about perceptions of equal pay opportunity.

I feel my current salary reflects my worth to my employer 

Men 69%

Women 61%

Men and women have equal pay opportunity at my workplace 

Men 78%

Women 68%

Survey results remained largely the same year over year 

The 2018 survey results were similar to the results of 2019 with slight variances. This demonstrates that concerns over pay equality still persist with little sign of overall improvement.

I feel my current salary reflects my worth to my employer 

Men 68%

Women 63%

Men and women have equal pay opportunity at my workplace 

Men 79%

Women 65%

“It’s unfortunate that many women still feel that there is a gender gap when it comes to workplace opportunity,” Savron said. “However, women must be willing to self-advocate in their careers if they want to gain access to equal opportunities. Speak up, share your ideas and volunteer for high-priority projects. If you do not feel you have opportunities, make your own.”

Top Reasons Women Cite Regarding Lack of Equal Pay Opportunities

According to the survey, 22 percent of employed women, to the best of their knowledge, do not feel that they are paid the same as their coworkers who do similar work. Among women who feel that they are getting paid less, they cite the following reasons for why this may be true:

Workplace inequality due to gender – 18 percent

I do what I am told and don’t question things when I disagree – 15 percent

Coworkers’ tenure/length of service is longer than theirs – 13 percent

“One way women can enhance their visibility is to offer their opinion. Employers value individuals who provide solutions to problems and offer a fresh perspective,” Savron said. “If you are not confident in your experience, commit to up-skilling by reading, taking classes, or continuing your education. In today’s workplace, your career will remain stagnant if you are not committed to life-long learning. By doing so, you are demonstrating that you are engaged employee with valuable ideas and insight.”