Many Women Still See Workplace Gender Barrier

March 25, 2011 ( – Thirty-eight percent of female workers involved in a recent CareerBuilder poll said they feel they are paid less than male counterparts with the same skills and experience, up from 34% in 2008 when the survey was last conducted.

A CareerBuilder news release said 39% of female workers feel men have more career advancement opportunities within their organizations, up from 26% in 2008.

Comparing salaries, 45% of men surveyed reported they make $50,000 or more, compared to 24% of women. Ten percent of men make $100,000 or more, compared to 3% of women. On the other end of the pay scale, 40% of women reported they make $35,000 or less compared to 24% of men.

In terms of upward mobility, 30% of men surveyed said they hold a management position compared to 21% of women. Nearly half (49%) of women said they are in clerical or administrative roles compared to 25% of men. Women also reported a difference in the amount of kudos given to members of the opposite gender. Thirty-six percent of women reported that men receive more recognition for their accomplishments than women do within their organizations.

“While many companies are working toward greater equality in all measures of the workplace, a significant disparity still exists,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, in the news release.“Workers in general are more aware of average compensation levels. They are also more vocal about shortcomings they believe exist when it comes to their pay and title, especially coming off of a recession when workloads and hours largely increased.”

More than one-third of women (35%) attributed the disparity in pay and career advancement to the fact that they don’t rub elbows or schmooze with management as much as men. Twenty-two percent said it was a simple case of management showing favoritism to the opposite gender while 16% acknowledged that their male counterpart had been with the company longer.

According to the news release, from the male point of view, 84% of men feel men and women with the same qualifications are paid the same within their organizations and 77% believe the career advancement opportunities are equal for both genders.

Compared to the previous study in 2008, fewer men reported that female counterparts earn more than them, but more men feel women have an advantage when it comes to climbing the company ladder. Six percent of men said they feel they are paid less than their female counterparts, down from 11% in 2008. Seventeen percent of men feel women have more career advancement opportunities, up from 12% in 2008, and 18% of men said women receive more recognition for their accomplishments than men do within their organizations.

When asked what annoyed them most about the opposite gender in the office, men said women tend to gossip or become too emotional or sensitive. Women said men can be too arrogant, say inappropriate comments, and don’t take female co-workers seriously.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder among 3,910 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010.