Ambition, thy name is Steve

More evidence that women have lower salary expectations than men. Particularly men called Steve.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

According to a survey of new jobseekers on website reed.co.uk, forty-something male Capricorns called Steve in the South East are now the most ambitious jobseekers in the UK. Apparently this Statistical Steve expects a salary of £26,842, significantly above Graham (who wants £24,324) and Ian (£24,682).

(We thought it would be nice to illustrate this point with a relevant example of just such a go-getting Steve, but unfortunately not even the help of Google could lead us to a single famous person who fits these criteria. So you’ll just have to take reed’s word for it. Or not)

By comparison, the most ambitious woman was Jane, who wanted a mere £20,346. In fact, on average men expected to be paid nearly £4,000 more than women. Even at the bottom of the pile, the lowest-rated male in the top 50 (Adam) was after much more than the lowest-rated female (Danielle) - £17,411 compared to £15,071.So either women aren’t aiming high enough, or men have a totally unreasonable idea of their own worth. Or possibly both.

The survey threw up some predictable results (jobseekers in the South East expect to be paid more) but also some weird ones – for instance that Capricorns want much more money than Virgos; that the average Danielle is happy to work for £7/ hour; or that Middle Eastern jobseekers expect to be paid literally twice as much as their UK counterparts.

But before we draw any extravagant sociological conclusions, it’s worth remembering the limitations of the data sample. The reed.co.uk website tends to focus on jobs at the lower-salaried end of the professional market (its most popular sector is admin and secretarial, for example) so this is likely to skew salary expectations. And we’re guessing that the website’s overly-ambitious applicants from Qatar (average salary expectation: £62,000) probably haven’t quite worked this out yet.

Still, however limited the scope, we can’t escape the fact that for whatever reason, there’s still a big gender gap when it comes to salary expectations. And that’s one reason why there’s still a big gap between pay levels. Somehow we need to track down Virgo Danielle, and encourage her to be a bit more like Capricorn Steve...

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