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Only 38% of Women Think Female Leadership Increased in 2023

HiBob, the company behind Bob—the HR platform transforming how organizations operate in the modern world of work—is releasing the results of its latest study, “2024 U.S. Women Professionals in the Workplace.” The report demonstrates that while corporate America has made advancements in championing women, men and women have differing perceptions of equity for pay, promotions, and gender representation in leadership.  

“2022 was the year of the employee upper hand and the Great Resignation, but 2023 was the year regulators pushed for better salary transparency and pay equity both internally at the organizational level, and externally,” says Ronni Zehavi, co-founder and CEO of HiBob. “It’s disappointing to see how women continue to be disenfranchised by pay and promotion parity, which could be stemming from a lack of female empowerment as part of a company’s mission.” 

While men and women today are given equal opportunity for consideration of the same jobs, most (80%) men feel that men and women are promoted equally for the same role at their company, whereas only 61% of women agree. Additionally, twice as many women (35%) feel that men (16%) are promoted more often or quicker than them. Additional findings include the following.  

  • More men (38%) received promotions with pay increases in 2023 compared to only 32% of women.  
  • Approximately 82% of respondents say their organization does not disclose salary information.  
  • Almost a quarter (22%) of women believe working mothers are promoted less. 

Roughly one-third (34%) of women believe men are paid more than them for the same role. Conversely, a vast majority (82%) of men answered they believe they are paid equally to women at their company. This indicates a drastic difference in salary perceptions.  

“Greater gender equality is associated with enhanced recruitment and retention of top-quality workers, contributing to improved revenues,” says Zehavi. “Structured and deliberate pay architectures in companies correlate with better financial performance. As employee expectations shift towards fairness, equity, and transparency, businesses that embrace these values stand to win on many fronts.”  

Workers today are pushing for more time off and improved parental leave terms, even prioritizing these over better health coverage and more flexible work schedules. Shockingly, men (17%) were around 50% more likely to receive a benefits increase than women (8%) in 2023.  

  • Nearly half (41%) of respondents want more paid time off, while only 37% want better coverage, and one-third (33%) want a more flexible work schedule.  
  • Only 60% of women agreed their organization encourages their employees to take the full offered time off for parental leave.  

Company leaders need to better foster the growth of female employees and communicate these goals to women. Around half (53%) of men feel their company has made a visible effort within the last year to develop more female leaders—contrarily, only 38% of women answered the same. Additionally, two-thirds (66%) of women claim their company does not have balanced male/female leadership.  

When asked how men primarily see their company’s attitude towards women, 16% reported “through company culture,” versus 80% of women who answered they didn’t see their company’s values towards women entwined within company culture at all. 

Women are finding the workplace a safer space compared to last year. When asked if a colleague has ever made them feel uncomfortable or less qualified at work because of their gender, 78% of women said “no.” While this is an improvement over where the workplace was a few years ago, almost one-quarter of women are still feeling targeted, showing there is much work to be done. 

“It is the responsibility of companies and leaders to level the playing field and make sure promotion and pay parity are a large part of company’s culture,” adds Zehavi. “Leaders must take a hard look at their companies and policies, and reflect on what they can do better, then put that into action.”  

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