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!
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy