Men in finance see workplace as meritocracy. Women don’t see the same

For men in finance, their workplace is a meritocracy where the gender gap is a relic of the past. According to their rose-colored glasses, employees in finance who do the work and put in the time are able to get ahead in their career. But a new CNBC and LinkedIn survey of 1,000 LinkedIn members working in banking, capital markets, and other financial services found that women in finance felt differently.m

While seven in ten male respondents agreed that “men and women are promoted at an equal rate,” less than half of female respondents agreed that everyone was getting promoted at an equal rate.

Women in finance see a gender gap that male peers don’t see

Men in finance thought that men and women with equal titles were paid the same salaries at their company. Women were more likely to doubt that everyone was getting fair treatment. Seventy-five percent of men believed that men and women in equal roles were paid the same at their companies, while only 40% of women thought the same. Women’s intuition about lopsided salaries is backed by research. A 2016 Pew Research Center study found that white women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by white men, while black women earned 65 cents and Latina women earned 58 cents.

Men and women both agreed that an unsupportive work culture still plays a big role in holding women back in their careers, but men were overall more optimistic about women’s future in finance. Women were less optimistic than men about their ability to climb up the ranks. While the majority of men thought that men and women both had equal chances of becoming leaders of their industry, only 37% of women thought the same.

Men and women were on the same page about one thing, however. They both agreed what research already backs up: That workplace flexibility is key to keeping women in the workforce. Finance can be a demanding career filled with long hours of overtime. Both men and women said that offering more flexibility was the top way finance jobs could foster a more inclusive workplace for women.

Men in finance are not the only men who think the gender gap in promotions and salaries is largely solved. More than half of men in America think the gender gap is solved despite overwhelming research to the contrary. Until more men see the gender gap as a real and present issue, studies like this will continue to find that men and women are working on different planets.