great expectations

or lack of them…

Women entering the workforce expect less than men, study finds

“Women have lower career expectations than men, anticipating smaller paycheques and longer waits for promotions, according to a new study involving a University of Guelph researcher.

“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….’

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.'”

previously: the hard sciences are soooo sexist!

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