Perceptions of unequal pay and career advancement opportunities between men and women are increasing among government workers on the federal, state and local levels, according to a new study from Chicago-based CareerBuilder that was released Thursday. More women feel that that they are paid less than men (they are, according to the survey), and more men said they hold management positions while more women said they work as clerks and administrators.

Twenty-seven percent of the 206 female workers in the survey said they feel they are paid less than male counterparts with the same skills and experience, up from 22 percent in 2008 when the survey was last conducted. In addition, 37 percent of female workers feel men have more career advancement opportunities within their organizations, up from 24 percent in 2008. Those perceptions are legitimized by other findings in the survey in that 59 percent of the 255 male government workers surveyed reported they make $50,000 or more, compared to 30 percent of women, and 29 percent of women reported they make $35,000 or less, compared to 13 percent of men.

Also, 17 percent of men said they hold management positions, compared to 8 percent of women. Two-in-five (41 percent) of women said they work in clerical or administrative roles, compared to 15 percent of men. "Even as many government entities strive for equal pay and advancement, there are still differences that may exist between men and women in a variety of roles," said Chuck Loeher, CareerBuilder's vice president of government solutions. "Workers in government are more aware of average compensation levels and titles, especially as their pay and work have been highly scrutinized due to widespread cutbacks."

Other findings in the survey include:

• 35 percent of women reported that men receive more recognition for their accomplishments than woman do within their organizations.
• 28 percent of women attributed the disparity in pay and career advancement to the fact that they don't rub elbows or schmooze with management as much as men. Eighteen percent said it was a simple case of management showing favoritism to the opposite sex, while 22 percent acknowledged that their male counterpart had been with the company longer.
• 84 percent of men feel men and women with the same qualifications are paid the same within their organizations, and 73 percent believe the career advancement opportunities are equal for both genders.
• Compared to the 2008 study, fewer men reported that female counterparts earn more than them, but more men feel women have an advantage when it comes to climbing the company ladder.
• When asked what annoyed them most about the opposite sex in the office, men said women tend to gossip or become too emotional or sensitive. Women said men could be too arrogant, say inappropriate comments and not take female co-workers seriously.

Download the entire study.

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