Many would not take a pay cut to promote gender equality

Many would not take a pay cut to promote gender equality
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The issue, though linked to income, may have more to do with views on sexism

With several male BBC news hosts reporting that they’ll be taking a pay cut after finding out their female colleagues made considerably less despite similar skills and experience, wage disparity among men and women is again in the spotlight. In a recent poll, YouGov asks Americans whether or not they would be willing to take a paycut in the name of fairness and the leading response, though just by five points, is no, they wouldn’t (38%).

A third of Americans (33%) say they would be willing to take a paycut if it meant leveling the playing field for gender equality. And many (29%) are uncertain what they would do if placed in that situation.

The leading political parties report different opinions on the issue. If they discovered there was a salary imbalance despite identical skills and experience, four in ten Democrats (40%) say they would take a salary cut, as opposed to a quarter of Republicans (25%). Nearly half of Republicans (49%) say they would not take a paycut.

While several male TV hosts at the BBC have agreed to take pay cuts, more men won’t. Less than a third of men (32%) say they would take a reduction in their salary in the name of fairness and more than four in ten (44%) say they would not take a salary cut. Women are slightly more likely to take a paycut (34%) than say they wouldn’t (31%), though just by three percentage points. 

Research from YouGov Omnibus points to millennials as the only age group more likely to take the pay cut than not. Four in ten Americans age 25 to 34 (40%) and nearly the same amount of 18 to 24 year-olds (38%) say they would be willing to take a reduction in salary in the name of fairness.

And data from YouGov Profiles shows that removing money from the situation does little to encourage gender equality. When asked whether or not they support universities and organizations giving preference to women to make up for and encourage equality, just a quarter of people (24%) who said they would not take a pay would support a measure like that, while 55% of people who would take a pay cut support such measures.

YouGov conducted the same poll in the UK and found similar results – more Brits say they would not take a pay cut for gender equality.

Read more results from this poll

Learn more about YouGov Omnibus and YouGov Profiles

Image: Getty