The practice of individualized pay has brought with it a great many challenges for employers in regard to how the pay-setting process and the communications of criteria and pay-related notifications should be managed. For instance, earlier research has shown that it is foremost pay satisfaction, attitudes towards individualized pay, pay equity and gender equality that contribute to positive work-related attitudes. Given that there is evidence of discrimination – primarily of women – occurring in regard to their pay levels and pay negotiations, the aim of this study is to explore if and how perceptions of the pay setting procedure, pay related justice, gender equality and equal opportunity differ between men and women.
The empirical basis for this cross-sectional study is comprised of questionnaire data collected among 1316 Swedish government white-collar workers. The response rate was 68 percent (N=895) and the proportion of women was 35 percent. The results suggest that individualized pay as a system is something that both men and women desire and are happy with, although perceptions regarding how equal and fair the pay distribution is, who benefits and has an advantage in pay negotiations differed between men and women. Men perceived that men and women had equal opportunities and advantages in connection to individualized pay. Men were also more satisfied with their pay on the whole and felt that they were able to influence their pay level to a higher degree than women.