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IWD 2024: Pay & promotion perceptions differ across workplaces
Wed, 6th Mar 2024

New research from HiBob, the pioneer behind the innovative HR platform Bob, has revealed a marked discrepancy between the perceptions of gender-based pay and promotion among men and women. The findings come from their third annual Women in the Workplace report, illustrating a stark contrast in gender perspectives on workplace parity.

The UK government's report, indicating significantly more organisations, 79%, pay men higher median hourly rates than women in 2022/23, conflicts with popular male perception. Four out of five men (79%) believe men and women earn equivalent pay, a presumption shared by only 55% of women. Moreover, merely one in ten men (10%) acknowledge being paid more than women, compared to a staggering 31% of women who believe they are paid less.

A significant majority of men and women, 93%, feel confident in their work performance. However, HiBob's data shows that a third (33%) of women were not promoted in pay, benefits, or position in 2023, as opposed to a quarter (25%) of men. Men are less likely to believe they are promoted more often than women, with only 17% holding this belief. In contrast, twice as many women (35%) are likely to think the opposite.

Amidst ongoing gender pressure and employee demands, only 31% of UK workers affirm their organisation is taking strides to improve salary transparency. As with the pay gap, the perceived efforts to advance this remain lower among women.

The report also highlights a discomforting gender disparity in the workplace. More women than men, 23% compared to 9%, report experiencing discomfort or feelings of inadequacy at work due to their gender. Nearly half of women (45%) experiencing this report incidents occurring every few months or quite often.

The question of having children also brings out gender-based differences in career progression. While 54% of women believe children impede career advancement, only 33% of men think the same. On the contrary, 31% of men see children as beneficial for career progression, a view shared by just 19% of women.

Regarding support for women into leadership positions, a third of women (32%) believes their company made a visible commitment in the past year. However, a mere 5% report their company offering female leadership mentoring schemes. Even fewer, just 10%, share experiences reflecting their company's attitude towards women at executive leadership levels.

Nirit Peled-Muntz, Chief People Officer at HiBob, cites the persistent confidence of women in the workplace despite the data from their third annual report pointing to persistent gender disparity. According to her, "Companies need to make strategic plans and take action to support female parity in the workplace this year. This includes eliminating pay and promotion gaps, establishing female leadership mentoring schemes, and rooting out gender biases by investing in education for staff."

She believes the time is ripe for employers to make significant strides towards equity in the workplace. "Progressing towards equality is a smart business move. It is a fact that happy people who are paid fairly are more likely to stay and thrive, and in the competitive talent landscape, this is essential. Treating them right is good business practice."