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The Gender Pay Gap – Is it Real? New Survey Uncovers Employee Sentiments and Perceptions Across the Globe

It’s been seven years since the groundbreaking Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act – and just days since President Obama proposed new rules that would require companies to disclose pay data – however, salary inequity between men and women is still a major issue and topic of conversation. Wage disparities clearly exist (the World Economic Forum’s ‘Global Gender Gap Report’ finds it will take 81 years to reach gender parity in the workplace), however, a new Glassdoor survey finds that employee perceptions of the gender pay gap may not match reality.

Most People Believe Men & Women are Paid Equally

In fact, 7 in 10 employed adults in seven countries believe men and women are paid equally for equal work at their employer. Women still feel the pinch more than their male counterparts: 70 percent of women believe that there is equal pay for equal work at their employer compared to 77 percent of men. However, with several research reports and studies out there pointing to evidence of pay gaps existing, this illustrates the fact that perception among employees likely doesn’t match up with reality, and that a disconnect persists.

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Nearly Everyone Believes There Should be Equal Pay for Equal Work

Conducted in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland, the survey also found an overwhelming majority of employed adults (89 percent) believe that men and women should be paid equally for equal work. Americans (93 percent) are most in agreement that men and women should be compensated equally.

[Related: Employers, learn how you can be sure you’re helping to close the gender pay gap.]

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People Don’t Want to Work at a Company Where Pay Gaps May Exist

The survey also asked if people would apply to work at a company where a pay gap existed and 3 out of 5 employees said they would not. The survey suggests that companies hoping to attract the best talent would be wise to be transparent about their compensation practices. Women are less likely than men to apply for a job where they believe there is a gender pay gap, and in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, younger adults are less likely to apply to work if there is a difference in how men and women are compensated for equal work.

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What Can be Done to Fix Pay Gaps?

Also of note – the survey queried respondents on what would help improve the gender pay gap, and nearly half (45%) of U.S. employees who say there is a gap at their employer believe new company policies around pay and compensation will help close the inequity, while more than one-third (39%) are looking to the government for legislation requiring employers to pay all people equally for equal work and experience levels, which was the most popular response in other countries (Canada 38%, UK 41%, France 33%, Germany 41%, The Netherlands 33%, Switzerland 40%).

Transparency into pay at all levels ranks highly among Americans (34%) and more than one-quarter (27%) of respondents across all countries indicated they believe greater internal pay transparency such as HR sharing salary figures for all roles is the way to improve the gap.

Check out the complete results of the Glassdoor Global Gender Pay Gap Survey and detailed employee perceptions by country.

Is there a gender pay gap at your company? What do you think will improve the gender pay gap? Share your opinion below.

Want to increase salary transparency at your company? Share your salary anonymously on Glassdoor.