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Does the gender pay gap make a case for salary transparency?

Katie Bascuas writes, "Despite research to the contrary, a majority of employed workers believe men and women at their organizations are paid equally for equal work, according to a recent study. Could greater salary transparency help change these perceptions and fix the gender pay gap?

If asked whether the gender pay gap exists, most people would say yes, or would they?

According to a recent survey from the career website Glassdoor, seven in 10 employed adults worldwide believe men and women are paid equally for equal work at their organizations.

The study, which surveyed employed workers in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, also found that slightly more men, 77 percent, compared to 70 percent of women believe their organizations pay men and women equally.

There’s plenty of research to support that the pay gap is real—last year the World Economic Forum estimated that it will take 79 more years, in fact, before there is gender parity in the workplace. But, based on the findings from the Glassdoor study, there’s clearly a disparity in perception among adult workers and reality.

That’s not to say people don’t believe men and women should be paid equally because roughly 90 percent do, according to the study. Three out of five of those surveyed also said they would not want to work at a company where a pay gap exists.

Several associations have been addressing the gender pay gap through research and public awareness campaigns.

Late last year, for example, the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL) released findings from a survey it conducted on the current status of women in law. It found that women in law firms earn 80 percent of what men earn, and that women generally work more hours than men but bring in less revenue and receive less client origination credit, factors considered in choosing a new equity partner. By publicizing these types of findings from its annual survey, NAWL hopes that it can help spark change for women in the industry."

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