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Lead Your Team Women in Business

Fair Pay Top Issue Facing Working Women

Fair Pay Top Issue Facing Working Women
Credit: Gutzemberg/Shutterstock

Men and women differ on many workplace issues, but they do share the same opinion in at least one area.

Nearly 40 percent of Americans think equal pay is the top issue facing working women in the United States today, a belief shared by nearly the same proportion of men and women, according to new research from Gallup.

Specifically, 41 percent of women and 37 percent of men believe equal and fair pay is the top obstacle facing women in the workplace.

Equal opportunity for advancement is the other area both genders believe is a major challenge for today's working women.  The research found that 21 percent of men and 20 percent of women see this as the most important issue females must overcome in the workplace. [Flexibility Key to Promoting Women's Career Growth ]

"Americans clearly see norms of fairness and equality -- in terms of pay and the opportunity to get ahead -- as the greatest challenges for working women," Gallup's Jeffrey Jones wrote on the Gallup website. "These surpass issues such as how women are treated in the workplace and balancing parenthood with work, but these more practical concerns certainly are not absent from the list of issues facing women."

Other less-cited issues facing working women that were on the survey:

  • Unemployment and the availability of jobs.
  • Sexual harassment/Better treatment, more respect in the workplace.
  • Access to child care/Better child care.
  • Balancing home and work life.
  • Health care.
  • Maternity leave/Family leave/Time off for family matters.
  • Abortion/Access to contraception.
  • Education/Access to education.
  • Equal benefits.

While men and women have similar opinions on the top challenges facing working women, they do differ on some issues. No more than 3 percent of men cite child care, work-life balance and health care as the most important issues for working women. However, 9 percent of working women mention health care, 10 percent cite balancing work and home life and 12 percent say child care is their biggest obstacle.

The study was based on surveys of 1,252 adults, including 233 working women.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.