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Pay gap is the No. 1 issue for women at work

Compass that shows words equal pay

Forty percent of women professionals have missed a promotion or career opportunity simply because they’re female, according to a recent Korn Ferry survey of 738 women across several industries.

Asked what is the most important issue facing women in the workplace, respondents said the pay gap (42 percent), gender discrimination (26 percent) and the glass ceiling (25 percent).

While nearly half of the women (45 percent) said they have been sexually harassed, only 7 percent named it the most important issue women face at work.

Survey respondents said the biggest challenges for women in leadership roles were being treated equally (38 percent), getting respect from peers (25 percent) and advancement (22 percent).

 “The survey underscores the continued need for action around important issues and challenges facing women in the workplace,” said Jane Stevenson, global leader for CEO succession and vice chairman of Korn Ferry.

Parsing the pay gap

Only 17 percent of the women surveyed said they are compensated the same amount as their male peers in comparable jobs. More than four in 10 (42 percent) report earning 10-20 percent less than their male counterparts.

Fifteen percent of the women reported making 20-40 percent less than their male peers. The same amount reported making 5-10 percent less.

Six percent of the women reported a small personal pay gap, 0-5 percent, while on the opposite end of the gap, 3 percent reported making 50-75 percent less. Only 1 percent reported being paid more than their male counterparts.

Asked for the best advice they’d give women want to succeed at work, 44 percent said, “develop a strong network.” Nearly one-third urged women to “have confidence.” Eighteen percent of women advised others to “showcase accomplishments to key leaders.” Six percent said to “overcome perfectionism.”