Glass ceiling? What glass ceiling?
That’s the view of the vast majority of male employees when it comes to workplace discrimination faced by women, according to a new PayScale survey—and it points up a huge challenge to overcoming the problem: You can’t fix something that you don’t see.
The PayScale survey, conducted online over the past couple of months with about 140,000 people from a broad range of industries, found that 67% of men believe that in most workplaces “men and women have equal opportunities.” Yet only 38% of women say that’s the case.
For those in jobs related to technology—a field that has found itself under heavy scrutiny for the way women are treated—the gap is even larger: 66% of men in tech positions say there is equal opportunity for all in most workplaces, while just 30% of women in tech do.
The findings jibe with studies done by others, including this 2015 study by the Pew Research Center.
“There’s clearly a difference in perception,” says Aubrey Bach, a senior manager at PayScale, a Seattle-based provider of compensation data, who will present the survey results during a panel on Sunday at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival. “Men don’t think inequity is an issue.”
The reality, however, is that it is.
Overall, women continue to earn 15% to 20% less than men—a disparity that grows the longer that women remain working outside the home. In the U.S. and Canada, Mercer has found, women account for a mere 22% of corporate executives, 30% of senior managers, and 38% of managers (even though they make up nearly half the American labor force). And research by Michelle Budig, a sociologist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, shows that when families have children, fathers get a wage bonus; mothers suffer a wage penalty.
Interestingly, the PayScale survey found that both men and women have relatively favorable impressions of how women are treated inside their own companies. Seventy-five percent of male employees in general and 80% of men in tech jobs say there is equal opportunity for all at their workplace. By comparison, 51% of women and 44% of women in tech positions say that’s so.