How do we really feel about the gender pay gap?

You can’t have missed all the reports and statistics being released about the gender pay gap, and the shock some of those figures have caused. But how does the everyday Brit really feel about the gender pay gap?

Gender Pay Gap

Opposing opinions between men and women

Over the last week 136 respondents answered 7 ‘True-or-False’ questions in regards to the gender pay gap, showing shocking contrasts between the responses of men and women.

When asked if the “gender-pay-gap” is proof that women are disadvantaged due to their gender alone, over 57 percent of women agreed, in comparison to just 21 percent of men.

Furthermore, over 62 percent of men believed the “gender-pay-gap” to be a fair result of women choosing lower level positions, part time work and motherhood over career advancement.  More shockingly; 21 percent of women also agreed with this statement.

Gender Pay Gap Opinions

Are women thought of as less valuable?

Fortunately, most respondents did agree that women and men were equally capable to fulfil high level managerial positions and are equally capable of making good, high impact business decisions.

However, 5.9 percent of the respondents stated they do in fact disagree, and believe women are less capable than men in high level managerial positions or in situations where women need to make high impact business decisions, and shockingly; 37.5 percent of these respondents were female.Gender pay gap opinions

A difference in opinion between employers and employees

There was only one question in the survey that showed a difference in opinion between employers and employees, and funnily enough this was the question asking about the need for government interference.

Gender pay gap opinions

As it shows, business owners and directors have the same views as the rest of our respondents, however only 40 percent of them believe that the government should take significant action towards closing the gender pay gap. This 40 percent stands in comparison to over 71 percent of non-business owners.

Age doesn’t matter

Differences in answers between age groups are insignificant, surprisingly showing no real difference.

For example, those under 35 agree with government action towards closing the pay gap at a rate of 67 percent, and those over 35 agree at a rate of 66 percent.

Gender Pay Gap Opinions

In some ways. the above statement links back to the controversial opinion that some women choose to start a family rather than pursue a career, which could explain the higher rate of agreement among men. Regardless, we find it somewhat surprising that as many as 5% of women were also in agreement.

Gender pay gap

The gender-pay-gap and social media

When it comes to opinions on the gender pay gap there are some controversial arguments out there that are shocking for many. An actuality that becomes more understandable considering the ambiguous data being published on the gender pay gap, leaving much open to debate.

What is said by people who do not believe there is an inequality issue

Some controversial opinions on both sides of the argument have caused quite some shock across the nation.

“The gender pay gap is a hoax”

“The gender pay gap only exists because of women becoming mothers”

 “There is no gender pay gap, if women would work as hard as men they would earn the same”

“Feminists amend the facts and figures to their vision; there is no gender pay gap”

What is said by people who do believe there is an inequality issue

On the other side of the argument we most often find the gender pay gap reports and the harsh percentages showing the differences between men and women. However, these statistics often lack in context and can be released without any further background as to how those numbers came to be. There is often no way of telling how these numbers were calculated or how the data was collected.

When talking about the gender pay gap and equality in the workforce it becomes very clear that more research still needs to be done to fully understand who may be at a disadvantage, where this disadvantage actually comes from and how to create a diverse and equal environment for all.

 

A note from our director

I am well into my career as HR Director and I can honestly say that I personally have never experienced the gender gap issues that we are hearing so much about at the moment.

However, this might be because I have chosen to spend my time working with businesses who want to treat people fairly and have asked for our help in doing so.

Wendy Choyce, FCIPD Director of Human Resources, PeoplePointHR