Are women less likely to be promoted than men?
While the same percentage (46 per cent) of men and women respondents were given pay increases in 2022, only 21 per cent of women were promoted compared to 35 per cent of men, reveals new study by HR technology firm HiBob.
Additionally, more men (23 per cent) received an increase in benefits than women (15per cent).
The report, Professional Women in the Modern US Workplace, unveils several inequalities and disparities between the way men and women view salary transparency, promotions, and work/life balance, especially in today’s uncertain economy.
Impact of economic downturn
Forty per cent of the women respondents predict the economic downturn will deprioritise and slow the progress of women's promotions in the workplace. Conversely 40 per cent of male respondents said the economic downturn will not impact women’s promotions at all.
Men and women are aligned on job security, with more than half of all respondents (55 per cent) concerned about being let go during the downturn. Despite this, majority of men (52 per cent) and women (57 per cent) stated they are not feeling pressured to come into the office.
Promotions, advancement, and confidence
There is clear difference between men and women when it comes to equity in promotions and advancement opportunities.
As per the survey 69 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women agreed that women are promoted equally to men within their company.
However, 38 per cent of women believe that men at their company are promoted more, an increase from HiBob’s comparable study in 2022.
A fifth of male respondents (20 per cent) feel their male colleagues are promoted more than women, while 38 per cent of female respondents feel their male colleagues are promoted more.
Despite disparities in promotion and pay, both men (83 per cent) and women (80per cent) feel confident in their job performance.
This misalignment is also clear in perceptions of diversity initiatives. The survey shows almost half (48 per cent) of men believe their company has made a visible commitment to developing more female leaders in 2023, compared to just 38 per cent of women.
Men and women also feel differently about pay equity and transparency – which is unsurprising given that women earned an estimated 82 cents to every dollar men earned in 2021.
Around two thirds (67 per cent) of men feel women and men are paid equally at their company, with 36 per cent of women answering that men are paid more.
Despite legislative movement for more pay transparency across the US, almost twice as many women (27 per cent) as men (18 per cent) believe their organisation is not making efforts to improve salary transparency.
When asked what would convince someone to move to a new role, 10 per cent more women than men said a “pay increase,” despite both genders being similarly worried about being let go during the economic crisis.
“Trust is evidently lacking among women who indicate that they do not feel their employers are taking the necessary steps towards creating fairer and more equitable opportunities for them. This mismatch in perception won’t be solved without the necessary tools to provide the transparency needed to dispel views expressed.
Eliminating the grey area when it comes to pay is essential to achieving gender equality, and it will pay dividends in employee engagement and retention. In a time where layoffs, restructurings and upskilling are occurring, it’s particularly important to make sure female employees are being paid the same as their male counterparts, especially as they take on additional skills, tasks, and responsibilities," said Ronni Zehavi, co-founder and CEO of HiBob.
“Organisations understand they have an obligation to offer equal opportunities for growth, and to promote a culture of acceptance and support but even with the best intentions, there is often no clear way to measure whether companies succeed in doing this.
Tracking and monitoring of pay and promotions, as well as DE&I goals needs good data from good people management platforms to identify where improvements are necessary.” Zehavi added.
Work-life balance and benefits
Female workers are not expecting further progress when it comes to work/life balance.
Nearly twice as many women as men expect no change to their work/life balance in 2023, while 37 per cent of men say they expect it to get much better or just “better.”
Interestingly, more than half (51per cent) of total respondents said they do not feel more pressure to come into the office as the economy worsens.
When asked to rank the top reasons for coming into the office, men and women prioritise differently.
- Men rank their top reason as “interaction with colleagues” with “easier communication with managers and teams” as their second priority.
- Women rank “office mandates” first with “interaction with colleagues” as their second reason for working from the office.
Women and men may have differing definitions of “female-focused benefits.” Twice as many women answered that their companies offer women-specific benefits (34 per cent) compared to men (15 per cent). However, twice as many men (23 per cent) than women (11 per cent) appeared to work for companies that offer time off for menopause.
Zehavi said it’s unsurprising that men and women have different perspectives, but it’s important to note that despite years of focus on women’s equality and progression, women still feel their workplaces are lagging in diversity and inclusivity. "It has been proven time and time again that diversity and inclusion build better and stronger company culture, and successful, more resilient businesses. Leaders need a strategic way forward to combat these inequalities that lead to turnover and poor performance.”