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Equal pay for equal work? Majority of employees believe men and women are paid equally

Two-thirds of UK employees are not likely to apply to a company where they believe there is a pay gap

Glassdoor, the world’s most transparent jobs and recruiting marketplace, has released the results of its first global salary survey which measures employee sentiment around issues related to the gender pay gap.

Glassdoor surveyed more than 8,000 employees in seven countries: The United Kingdom, Canada, United States, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Switzerland and found that, while sources state it will take 81 years to reach gender parity in the workplace, the majority of employees (7 out of 10) believe men and women are currently paid equally for equal work at their employer. An overwhelming majority of employees in the seven countries surveyed believe that men and women should be paid equally for equal work, including 87 percent of UK adults. By comparison, 93 percent of employees in the America believe men and women should receive equal pay, as do 90 percent in Germany, 90 percent in Netherlands and 88 percent Switzerland and France.

“While wage disparities do exist, this survey reveals that the majority of employees do not believe their workplace has a gender pay gap,” said Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor chief economist. “Across the geographies we surveyed, the support for equal wages is there and there is general consensus that the best courses of action to ensure equal pay are new company policies around pay and compensation, government legislation requiring employers to pay people equally, and more transparency into salary at all levels.”

Equal Pay Impacts Hiring

Companies that hope to attract more female talent would be wise to be transparent about their compensation practices and make clear they have no gender pay gap. Two-thirds (66 percent) of UK employees are not likely to apply to a company where they believe there is a pay gap, and significantly more women (76 percent) than men (59 percent) feel this way.

Younger workers are far less likely to want to work at a company where a pay gap exists: 80 percent of UK workers ages 18-24 would not apply for a job if they believed there to be a pay gap, compared to 58 percent of those aged 45-54, and 52 percent of those aged 55+.

Only Two Thirds of UK Women Think They Are Paid Fairly

Fair compensation relative to their colleagues, regardless of gender, is also an issue. Only 69 percent of UK females believe they are compensated fairly, opposed to 73 percent of UK men. In Germany 62 percent of women opposed to 65 percent of men believe they are compensated fairly and, in France, a low 57 percent of women compared to 66 percent of men believe they get what they deserve.

Solving the Pay Gap

New company policies, government legislation, clearer communication from senior leaders and greater internal pay transparency are top contenders for making an impact on the gender wage gap. Among UK employees who believe there is a gender pay gap at their company:

  • Twenty-seven percent believe new company policies around pay and compensation are key to helping solve this issue.
  • Forty-one percent feel that government legislation requiring employers to pay all people equally for equal work and experience will improve the gender pay gap.
  • A low twenty percent believe clearer communication from senior leaders and human resources about how pay raises, bonuses and cost of living increases are determined will improve the gap
  • Just over a quarter (26 percent) are of the opinion that greater internal pay transparency for all roles will help close the gap
  • Seventeen percent believe that women taking action and demanding pay raises will make an impact in the wage gap.

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