Nearly 7 in 10 women believe they’re paid less than male colleagues for equal work

Sixty-seven percent of women believe they’re paid less than their male counterparts for equal work, according to a Feb. 27 report by Checkr.

In addition, only 16% of women strongly believe they’re paid fairly and that gender bias doesn’t affect their compensation.

“Gender equality enhances employee morale, retention and engagement, leading to higher productivity and ultimately, a thriving workplace,” Sara Korolevich, Checkr’s editor and content manager, wrote in the report. “Prioritizing gender equality is the right thing to do, and can be a major benefit for businesses with far-reaching implications for performance and growth in today’s competitive marketplace.”

But employee pay perceptions aren’t always based on compensation data, 2022 research from Gartner revealed. The main driver of perception is organizational trust, the firm said, concluding that when employees don’t trust their employers, they don’t believe their pay is equitable.

Checkr surveyed 2,000 employed women, with an equal number across generations — baby boomers (ages 59-77), Generation X (43-58), millennials (27-42) and Generation Z (18-26).

Across generations, the majority of women agreed they earned less for equal work. However, Gen Z women felt less affected by the gender pay gap, with 61% agreeing they earned less, as compared with 66% of millennials, 68% of Gen X and 71% of baby boomers.

On the other hand, Gen Z women had less confidence in other areas related to management, leadership and recognition at work. About 38% of Gen Z workers said they strongly believe women are well-represented in management roles, as compared with 51% of millennials, 47% of Gen X and 41% of baby boomers.

In addition, 54% of Gen Z women said they believe women have as much of a chance as men to earn a management position at work, as compared with 62% of millennials, 65% of Gen X and 61% of baby boomers.

Women in certain occupations may feel particularly excluded, such as those in cybersecurity roles, according to a Women in CyberSecurity report. Women discussed a lack of career and growth opportunities, as well as a lack of respect from leadership and peers, leading to lower rates of satisfaction, productivity and retention. 

Employers can cultivate women leaders by addressing toxic workplaces and gender discrimination, according to a Society for Human Resource Management inclusion conference session. This includes acknowledging the unique struggles of working womanhood and parenthood, as well as desires such as work-life balance, schedule flexibility and autonomy.

Women of color, women with disabilities and LGBTQ+ women face even more barriers to career progress and require additional support for leadership positions, according to a report by McKinsey & Co. Talent leaders should consider the “broken rung,” which prevents women from moving up into top leadership positions because they face the biggest hurdle at the first critical step up to manager.