Two out of five workers expect a pay rise in the next year, although women are less confident than men, according to a new report.
Jobs site Glassdoor said only a third of women believed their pay would increase compared to almost half of men.
A survey of almost 1,000 workers, published ahead of the latest official figures for unemployment and pay, showed that salary expectations were at the highest point since the study started two years ago.
Two-fifths of those polled said business outlook would improve over the next six months, although one in four feared they would be made redundant.
One in three believed they would be able to find another job if they are laid off.
Jon Ingham of Glassdoor said: "On the face of it employee confidence of a pay rise is so much higher than two years ago, however the increase has actually been far more significant amongst female employees.
"Whilst it is encouraging that women are feeling more positive about both their prospects and the outlook for their companies, we must not forget that female employees are still lagging behind their male counterparts with regards to expectations of a pay rise.
"With the gender pay gap high on the agenda for so many people, confidence amongst women is a key factor, which might mean they won't push for a better compensation package.
"This is a wake-up call for employees and employers to act for a fairer workplace. Greater transparency around pay and sharing salaries internally will help all employees benchmark their pay and understand their market value."
Unemployment has been falling amid record levels of employment and fewer people claiming benefits.