Celebrating International Women’s Day: HiBob Study Reveals That 64% Of Women Professionals Were Promoted in 2021

  • People Management Platform Hibob Also Found 53% Of U.S. Women Said They Believed Men and Women Are Paid Equally

Modern HR platform disruptor HiBob announces the results of its study, “American Women Professionals in the Modern Workplace,” showing the advancement and areas for improvement across pay, promotion, company benefits and work-life balance. The study revealed that  64% of women professionals received a boost in either pay, position, or benefits in the last year and that 53% of women believe they are paid equally to men for the same roles.

The national survey was commissioned by HiBob in honor of International Women’s Day and surveyed 1,000 U.S. women professionals 25 and older who were employed full-time in a hybrid or in-office workplace in 2020 and 2021. The findings provide insights into women’s perceptions around compensation, promotions, the influence of company culture, and disparities among senior and junior women employees.

“On International Women’s Day, we have a lot to celebrate in terms of pay and promotional progress of women in the United States,” says Nirit Peled Muntz, Chief People Officer at HiBob. “While we’re seeing that a majority of companies are actively pursuing and promoting women for balanced female/male leadership in the workplace, individual contributors are being promoted at a lesser rate.”

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“Throughout the Great Resignation, women are proving to be a major source of talent in the workplace, and eliminating promotional bias is a social responsibility for all of us. At HiBob, we are committed to empowering companies and HR teams throughout the U.S. to analyze, evaluate, and understand potential unrecognized bias to create transparency and inclusivity.”

Senior Women Employees More Likely to Receive Promotions

More than twice as many senior managers (21%) as individual contributors (9%) believe that women are promoted equally to men. This highlights that perhaps DE&I initiatives for women could be working more at the executive and senior level, and less at the junior level. The survey also revealed the following in terms of promotions for women in the last year:

  • 64% of women were promoted overall
  • 67% of senior managers were promoted
  • 71% of middle managers were elevated
  • Only half (51%) of individual contributors received a title change

Because of the state of the labor market, companies are finding it harder to hire for middle and senior positions, and are more likely to incentivize senior leaders to stay. Certain industries are also promoting faster than others due to the battle for talent. Women in engineering, tech, and development were promoted most – 33% were elevated to a new higher position, 54% were given a pay increase, and 30% received a benefits increase.

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Many HR Professionals Don’t Believe Women and Men Are Paid Equally

While 53% of total respondents said that they believed men and women are paid equally, only 29% of women HR professionals believe men and women are paid equally. As HR typically handles payroll, this may call into question the strides companies are making towards pay parity in the U.S.

Across other professional fields, around half (48%) of respondents believed that women and men are paid equally, signaling overall positive pay equality in the workplace.

Individual Contributors are More Confident Work-Life Balance Will Improve in 2022

When analyzing potential for work-life balance improvements in 2022, individual contributors and younger employees are more confident in their companies. These findings provide a call to action for employers to place greater emphasis on addressing work-life balance for older and more senior employees this year.

  • While almost half (45%) of individual contributors felt that their work-life balance will improve in 2022, only one-third of senior managers felt the same.
  • Younger employees (42% of those aged 25-34) are expecting work-life balance to get better in 2022, while only 30% of those aged 45-54 and 28% of those over 54 expect it to improve this year.

The End of the Great Resignation?

After two stressful years of the pandemic-fueled Great Migration, it appears that women are looking for more stability and are ready to settle down. While 27% of all professional women replied that they changed jobs in 2021, only 13% of respondents expect to change jobs in 2022.  A full one-third of women who work in technology changed jobs in 2021, but only 7% expect to leave their jobs in 2022. What will entice women professionals to accept a new opportunity?

Strong Company Culture is More Enticing Than Learning or a Path to Promotion, Especially for Women in Tech

Pay is not necessarily enough to entice new women professionals. Although 66% of the respondents overall expect a pay increase when enticed to change jobs and 52% are also expecting flexible work (flex hours, remote working, work from anywhere). 39% are looking for a strong and healthy company culture, which is more than the 31% who are seeking a clear path to promotion or a company’s promise for growth and success (31%).

However, women across various professions rank these factors differently:

  • Women in engineering, tech, and development are more enticed by pay (71%) when looking for a new job compared to only 63% of women in HR and other industries.
  • Half of women in tech would be enticed to take a new job due to culture, compared to only 39% of women in other professional fields.

Driving Change in the Workplace

“This study reveals insights on professional women’s experiences at work in the United States. The findings are intended to reveal how company leaders and HR teams can drive change in the workplace that empowers women employees and grows successful companies,” says Ronni Zehavi, HiBob’s CEO and Co-Founder.  “Today, we celebrate women’s talent in the workplace, realizing the equality and progress we have made, especially through decreasing gaps in pay and promotion.”

“At HiBob, we pride ourselves on our culture of inclusivity and transparency, which allow for equal opportunities. This starts with having the right platform, with the right data and insights for people leaders. Understanding possible unrecognized bias and promoting workplace culture and work/life balance can further facilitate companies to retain, embolden, and promote successful women leaders in the modern workforce,” concludes Zehavi.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]