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CareerBuilder: More Women Perceive Pay and Career Advancement Disparity

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Perceptions of unequal pay and career advancement opportunities are increasing in the workplace, according to a new study released by CareerBuilder on Thursday.

Thirty-eight percent of female workers said they felt they were paid less than male counterparts with the same skills and experience, up from 34% in 2008 when the survey was last conducted, and up from 31% in 2003. Thirty-nine percent of female workers felt men had more career advancement opportunities within their organizations, up from 26% in 2008.

The survey of U.S. workers aged 18 and over, which Harris Interactive conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder from November 15 to December 2, included 2,274 men and 1,636 women.

Perceptions Reflect Reality

Comparing salaries, CareerBuilder said 45% of men surveyed reported making $50,000 or more, versus 24% of women. Ten percent of men made $100,000 or more, compared with just 3% of women. On the other end of the pay scale, 40% of women reported making $35,000 or less, compared with 24% of men.

In terms of upward mobility, 30% of men surveyed said they held a management position, compared with 21% of women. Forty-nine percent of women said they worked in clerical or administrative roles, versus 25% of men.

Women also reported a difference in the amount of kudos given to members of the opposite sex. Thirty-six percent reported that men received more recognition for their accomplishments than did women within their organizations.

"While many companies are working toward greater equality in all measures of the workplace, a significant disparity still exists," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in the statement. "Workers in general are more aware of average compensation levels. They are also more vocal about shortcomings they believe

exist when it comes to their pay and title, especially coming off of a recession when workloads and hours largely increased."  

More than one-third of women in the survey ascribed the disparity in pay and career advancement to the fact that they did not rub elbows or schmooze with management as often as men. Twenty-two percent said this was a simple case of management showing favoritism to the opposite sex, while 16% acknowledged that their male counterparts had been with the company longer.

The Man's Perspective

Eighty-four percent of men felt that women and men with the same qualifications were paid the same within their organizations, and 77% believed the career advancement opportunities were equal for both genders.

Compared with the 2008 study, fewer men reported that female counterparts earn more than they did, but more men felt women had an advantage in climbing the company ladder. Six percent of mensaid they felt they were paid less than their female counterparts, down from 11% in 2008. Seventeen percent of men felt women had more career advancement opportunities, up from 12% in 2008. And 18% of men said women received more recognition for their accomplishments than men did within their organizations.

When asked what annoyed them most about the opposite sex in the office, men said women tended to gossip or become too emotional or sensitive. Women said men can be too arrogant, make inappropriate comments and not take female co-workers seriously.

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