Women in Business: Time to Ask For That Raise

Despite companies and even cities making strides to close gendered pay gaps, 42% of working women still feel they aren’t being fairly compensated for the work they do, according to a recent Office Pulse survey of more than 500 white-collar professionals. By contrast, 3 in 10 male professionals said the same.

Despite this dissatisfaction, 40% of women said they have never asked for either a raise or a promotion. That’s compared with 32% of men who said the same. Women were also slightly less likely to have asked for just a raise (20% vs 22%) or both a raise and a promotion (32% vs 37%). This slight divide deepens when viewed generationally, however. 

“I have never asked for a raise or a promotion”

Women 35+: 41%
Women 18-34: 38%
Men 35+: 37%
Men 18-34: 20%

Women of all ages were equally likely to have advocated for a raise and/or promotion, while younger men were markedly more likely to have asked to advance than their female counterparts. While a study found 75% of Gen Z members believe they should be promoted in their first year on the job, with similar results among Millennials, our results suggest this generational shift isn’t sinking in with young women. This could be due to lingering feelings of uncertainty or instability: 30% of women feel their ideas aren’t valued in the workplace, while nearly 1 in 3 think they’ve been passed over for a promotion because of their gender.  

Life is a Hy-Way

A relatively recent development that elicited more positive responses from female professionals is the popularity of hybrid work. While the schedule has pros and cons, women seem to be faring better overall. 45% of women doing hybrid work said the schedule has made it easier to balance work and home life, while 39% of their male counterparts think it makes it harder

This likely comes down to expectations. A Pew Research study found that most people think men are under more pressure than women to provide financially for their families (76% vs 40%) while women are seen as facing pressure to be an involved parent (77% vs 49%). No matter whether you’re childfree or at the helm of a large family, whether you reject or embrace gender roles, these expectations can be daunting – and might help explain why more women are taking hybrid work in stride. 

Numerous studies suggest a gender gap in household chores (an expectation that plagues even same-sex couples) persisted right up to the advent of the pandemic. While Office Pulse found both sexes claimed to take on daily child care in roughly equal measure, women were significantly more likely to prepare meals on a daily basis than men (73% vs 52%), and more women were tasked with caring for family members other than children (23%, vs. 13% for men). Women’s affinity for hybrid work could be the result of easier integration of their paid work with the tasks that they always felt were on their plate.  

Hybrid isn’t all sunshine and roses, however – 33% of women working both from home and in-office have seen themselves working more hours in the past year, and 31% said it has hampered their ability to form relationships with co-workers.

How do you promote inclusion in the workplace?

“Actively considering and learning from others’ lived experience. Being flexible on meeting times and specific with ask timelines to take different home situations into account.”

Female, Gen Xer

“Ensuring different voices are included from the beginning and calling out things that could be considered an issue before they become one.  “

Male, Millennial

“I make sure I introduce all new employees to the other departments to be sure people feel comfortable finding and working with each other. I also work in a male-dominated industry, so I encourage our women employees to have a voice and use it.”

Female, Gen Xer

If you’re juggling the chore chart along with your slate of professional responsibilities, take comfort knowing that you’re not alone – but don’t stop there. It’s probably time to ask for that raise. 

Other Insights:

  • Men and women have seen their personal (58% vs 59%) and professional responsibilities (68% vs 67%) increase in roughly equal measure over the past year 
  • 40% of hybrid female professionals feel like they’ve fallen behind at work this year compared to 16% of in-office only female professionals 
  • More men (22%) than women (13%) said they feel totally burnt out and can’t keep up at work 

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