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."
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