October 29, 2018 / 10:30 PM / 21 days ago

What pay gap? Men less aware of women's workplace struggles - U.S. survey

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Far more men than women think their companies offer equal pay and promote the sexes equally, yet younger generations are wising up, a U.S. entertainment industry survey found on Monday.

Only a quarter of women think their employers pay them the same as men, while twice as many men believe their company has no gender pay gap, according to the survey by CNBC, a business news channel, and job-oriented social networking site LinkedIn.

About one third of women said both sexes rise up the ranks at the same rate in their workplaces, while more than half of men think the promotion rates are equal, according to responses from at least 1,000 LinkedIn members who work in entertainment.

“Men, typically we found across industries ... they’re not as cognizant as their female counterparts to these issues,” said Caroline Fairchild, managing editor at LinkedIn.

Other surveys in finance and technology have revealed similar findings, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Congress outlawed pay discrimination based on gender in the federal Equal Pay Act in 1963, yet public debate over why wages still lag drastically for women has snowballed in recent years.

Last year in the United States, working women earned 82 percent of what men were paid, the Pew Research Center found.

According to the CNBC-LinkedIn survey, four in five women said the workplace holds more obstacles to advancement for women than for men, but only about half of men held the same opinion.

However the survey found that younger men were more likely than their older peers to say they were aware of the obstacles that stop women from succeeding at work, according to Fairchild.

“Perhaps the old guard of the industry is thinking a certain way, but we are seeing a perception change in what perhaps younger people in the industry are thinking,” she added.

A U.S. appeals court in San Francisco ruled in April that employers cannot use workers’ salary histories to justify gender-based pay disparities, saying that would perpetuate a wage gap that is “an embarrassing reality of our economy”.

A handful of U.S. cities and states ban employers from asking potential hires about their salary histories.

The World Economic Forum reported a global economic gap of 58 percent between the sexes for 2016 and forecast women would have to wait 217 years before they are treated equally at work.

Gender inequality in the workplace could cost the world more than $160.2 trillion in lost earnings, according to the World Bank. The figure compares the difference in lifetime income of everyone of working age and if women earned as much as men. (Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst, Editing by Kieran Guilbert

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