When comparing career expectations of Canadian female and male university students, Prof. Sean Lyons discovered that women predict their starting salaries to be 14 per cent less than what the men forecast. This gap in wage expectations widens over their careers with women anticipating their earnings to be 18 per cent less than men after five years on the job.
As for their first promotion, the study found women expect to wait close to two months longer than men for their first step up the corporate ladder.
"It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg-situation," said the business professor, who worked on the study with Carleton University professor Linda Schweitzer and Dalhousie University professor Ed Ng. "Women know that they currently aren't earning as much as men so they enter the workforce with that expectation. Because they don't expect to earn as much, they likely aren't as aggressive when it comes to negotiating salaries or pay raises and will accept lower-paying jobs than men, which perpetuates the existing inequalities."
The study, to be published in the journal Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, involved surveying more than 23,000 Canadian university students about salary and promotion expectations as well as career priorities.
The reality is there is a gap in salary with university-educated women earning only 68 per cent of the salaries of equally qualified men, according to a 2008 Canadian Labour Force Survey.
"This study shows that women aren't blissfully ignorant and know the gender gap exists," said Lyons.
However, the researchers were surprised by the results considering the students are part of the "millenninal" generation characterized as more egalitarian.
Lyons said the disparity in career expectations between genders partly reflects inflated expectations of young men.
"Overall we found the male students' expectations are way too high. These results may indicate that women are just more realistic about their salary expectations."
Gender gaps in salary expectation and career advancement were widest among students planning to enter male-dominated fields such as science and engineering and narrowest for those preparing for female-dominated or neutral fields such as arts and science.
Another factor influencing women's lower career expectations could be the gender differences in career priorities, Lyons said. The study found that women were more likely to choose balancing their personal life with their careers and contributing to society as top career priorities. Whereas men preferred priorities associated with higher salaries, such as career advancement and building a sound financial base.
"It may be that women expect to trade off higher salaries for preferences in lifestyle."
Women's lower expectations might also reflect their seeking career information from other working women, added Lyons.
"If these students are asking their mothers or other older women for their experiences, they will be getting a reflection of the historical inequality."
Despite differing expectations, the study found women and men have the exact same levels of self confidence and self-efficacy.
"Our study shows women don't feel inferior to men and view themselves as every bit as capable as their male counterparts."
Current strategies to improve workforce equality aim to increase the number of women in male-dominated fields. However, Lyons said post-secondary students need to be receiving accurate salary information before they begin working.
"Professors and career counselors should make it a priority to provide students with accurate information regarding actual salaries and expected promotion rates for university graduates in their field," he said. "Awareness is essential to empowering these young women to think differently about the way they value themselves relative to their male colleagues."
Contacts:Prof. Sean Lyons
Sean Lyons | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences