SURVEY SAYS: Equal Pay? No Way!

April 5, 2001 - Equal pay for equal work seems a pretty basic concept -- but the reality is another matter, according to our readers. Overall 44% of respondents to our survey felt that men and women were paid equally for the same work. But the perception of reality was dramatically different depending on the sex of the respondent. A whopping 78% of female respondents said "equal pay, no way" (or words to that effect). A near mirror image 71% of male respondents thought that pay was equal for equal work.

A number of respondents ? both men and women ? noted that the real problem wasn’t pay. Rather a larger concern was the “glass ceiling” that continues to bar many qualified women from senior positions at a number of firms. As one (male) reader noted, “Based on my observations, the glass ceiling needs to be ratcheted down a couple of notches to lessen the void between rank, pay and competence.”

Those who questioned the validity of a pay gap frequently challenged the true equality of the work. As one reader noted, “I believe that many claims of gender pay inequality are the result of (well-intentioned) amateurs who somehow decide that a job predominantly filled by women is “equal” to another job predominantly filled by men and should therefore pay the same when, in fact, the two jobs are not even close in their compensable characteristics.”

Others noted the impact of the “mommy track” that often pulls women from the workforce, or results in career choices that (in the words of a reader) “clearly adversely affects career development and thus compensation”.

Finally, one reader noted “We’ve come a long way, but still have many miles to go. At least I don’t get chased around the desk anymore, and I’m no longer asked if I’m pregnant or planning to start a family soon when being interviewed.”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!

Mark your calendars for the SIA Savings, Retirement and Estate Planning Conference May 2-4, at the New York Marriott World Trade Center. PLAN SPONSOR’s Editor-in-Chief, Charles Ruffel will be the keynote speaker on the 4th. MORE details at EVENTS at .