We were pretty shocked to hear recent news that experts don’t expect the gender wage gap to equalize for another 53 years, and that’s in the UK (US stats look even bleaker). Naturally, we assumed that this was largely due to factors beyond our control. A new study from Ziprecruiter, however, suggests that might not be the case ― at least not entirely. In fact, the findings suggest that women themselves may actually have a role in that discrepancy.

Passed over for promotion

How? According to the company’s research, women don’t value themselves as highly as men when it comes to their desired salaries.

Polling an undisclosed number of both men and women about their desired earnings, Ziprecruiter found that men, on average, asked for a salary of $59,623 per year, while women, in contrast, requested an average annual sum of $48,160 — a whopping $11,103 less than their male counterparts.

Industries such as law saw an even higher discrepancy between the figures, with women requesting an average desired annual sum of $20,531 less than males in the industry. While a few industries did see women asking for more than men (namely real estate, food and beverage and personal care), the majority were selling themselves short.

What’s more, even with salary expectations varying wildly between the sexes, application rates were nearly equal, with men at 36 percent and women at 33 percent.

In short, we’re going after the same jobs, but we’re not expecting the same out of them. Maybe that’s because we’re aware of the discrepancies, and are simply resigned to them, or maybe we’re more fearful of the consequences should we ask for too much ― like not getting the job in favor of a more affordable candidate. Either way, it’s a trend that probably needs to change if we have any hope of closing that gap once and for all.

After all, while employers shouldn’t take advantage of this information, some undeniably will, and how can we expect them to perceive us as highly valuable if we don’t value ourselves the same way?

boss gives employee dismissal contract to sign

Ziprecruiter suggests doing plenty of research with regard to average salaries for your profession (and asking for more if you believe you’re worth more than the average employee), finding a mentor to guide you in the right ballpark and finally, having the confidence to ask for what you’re worth ― what you’re really worth, that is.

Now, to put that all into action… go get ‘em, ladies!

Are you surprised by these new stats? Sound off over @BritandCo.

(h/t Teen Vogue, photos via Bernardasv +MachineHeadz/Getty)