Younger female employees are more likely to perceive themselves as equal to their male counterparts, new research shows.
The study, conducted by communications firm FleishmanHillard and Hearst Magazines, found that because women from the so-called Generation Y — or those born between the early 1980s and early 2000s — have been raised with a "girls can do anything boys can do" attitude, they perceive greater gender equality in workplace skills, opportunities and accomplishments than their older peers do.
One example researchers found was that 70 percent of Gen Y women describe themselves as smart, compared with only 54 percent of Gen Y men. That gender gap shrinks among Gen X females — those born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s — and disappears among baby boomers.
Though younger women may see themselves in a more positive light, they still lag behind in one key area: pay.
"The study finds that women have achieved an equality of aspiration, but not an equality of results," said Stephen Kraus, senior vice president and chief insights officer of Ipsos MediaCT's Audience Measurement Group.
In each of the five countries surveyed, more than 80 percent of the women said men are often paid more than women, even for doing the same work, while about half said many men resent the advancements women have made in recent years.
"[The woman] is the CEO of most households, and few would tell her that she can't aspire to be the CEO of a corporation," Kraus said. "But she realizes that she faces an uphill battle."
Overall, women see themselves as stronger than men in areas of emotional strength, which includes things like difficult conversations or rebounding from setbacks, but they acknowledge that men often have more success in negotiating and proactively asking for salary increases.
Lisa Dimino, a senior vice president and senior partner with FleishmanHillard, said the study has shown the growth women have made in recent years.
"Over the past five years, we have watched the evolution of American women as their power and influence on practically every level across the home, marketplace and workplace continues to ascend," Dimino said.
The study was based on surveys of more than 1,000 women and 500 men in the U.S., as well as more than 3,000 females in the U.K., France, Germany and China.