Women’s equality ‘achieved’ according to men

HiBob, the creator of Bob, a HR platform revolutionising the operation of organisations in today's work environment, has published its third annual Women in the Workplace report. The report reveals a significant disparity between men's and women's perceptions of workplace equality.

Despite the UK Government's findings that men received higher median hourly wages than women in 79% of organisations in 2022/23, when questioned about salaries, four out of five men (79%) believed that men and women receive equal pay, in contrast to only 55% of women. Additionally, merely one in ten men (11%) acknowledged earning more than women, against nearly a third of women (31%), underscoring a profound discrepancy in perceptions of the pay gap's progress within workplaces.

Although 93% of both genders expressed confidence in their work performance, data from HiBob indicated that a third (33%) of women did not receive promotions in pay, benefits, or position in 2023, compared to a quarter (25%) of men. However, only 17% of men thought they were promoted more often or faster than women in their companies, whereas women were twice as likely (35%) to hold this belief.

Despite the pronounced differences in perceptions of pay gap advancements, amidst governmental and employee advocacy, only 31% of UK workers reported that their organisations are endeavouring to enhance salary transparency.

Beyond the persistent disparities in pay and promotions, a significantly larger proportion of women (23%) than men (9%) reported feeling uncomfortable or deemed less qualified at work due to their gender. Among these women, a startling two in five (40%) encountered such incidents every few months, and one in five (22%) quite frequently.

Regarding the impact of having children on career progression, over half (54%) of women reported that it adversely affects their career progression, compared to a third (33%) of men. Interestingly, 31% of men believed that having children positively influences career progression, in contrast to 19% of women.

In terms of advancing women into leadership roles, a third of women (32%) noted that their company has shown a clear commitment in the past year. However, only one in twenty (5%) reported that their company offers female leadership mentoring schemes, and merely one in ten (10%) observed their company's attitude towards women through executive leadership.

Nirit Peled-Muntz, Chief People Officer at HiBob comments, “Despite women remaining confident at work, the data from our third annual report is clear, there is still a way to go to achieve gender equality. To enact real, tangible change in 2024, companies need to make strategic plans and take action to support female parity in the workplace. This includes, eliminating pay and promotion gaps, establishing female leadership mentoring schemes and rooting out gender biases by investing in education for staff.  

“After a year of limited progress, I hope to see employers take deliberate strides towards equality in the workplace this year. Progressing towards equality is a smart business move. Mckinsey’s latest Diversity Matters report found top-quartile companies have a 39 percent greater likelihood of financial outperformance than bottom quartile peers. Additionally, when you consider that women make up half the workforce, many realise that fair pay is a business issue. 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. Remember, people are a company’s most valuable asset. Treating them right is good business practice."