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Despite Societal Focus On Gender Equality, Nearly One In Three Women (32 percent) Believe They Are Not Paid Fairly

By University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix survey finds that a quarter of women still feel they do not have equal opportunities as men to show their worth in their workplace

PHOENIX, Aug. 26, 2019 – August 26 marks the celebration of Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. In honor of that day, University of Phoenix 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.”

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of University of Phoenix on August 13-15, 2019 among 2,020 US adults aged 18 and older, among whom 961 identified as full-time or part-time. Figures for gender, age, race/ethnicity, household income, education, household size, employment status, marital status, and region were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. For complete survey methodology, please contact Melany Stroupe

About University of Phoenix®
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