One in four women unhappy with pay

The latest findings detailing women’s sentiment in the workplace has been published by WorkL in collaboration with the Women in Work Summit revealing that one in four (41%) women are unhappy with their pay compared to just over a third of men (37%).

Data for the Women in Work Report, which was sourced over the first four months of 2023, highlights the disparities between genders when it comes to feelings and thoughts about work. Overall engagement at work for females is up, now at 70% and women are now just 1% less happy at work than men. However, the Wellbeing Risk for women has risen to 33%, with men 3% less likely to have a Wellbeing Risk in the workplace.

The report highlights a theme that continues to be debated – women and pay. 41% of women are unhappy with their pay compared to just 37% of men. When asked about feeling proud to work for their organisation, women score 6% higher than their male counterparts, so despite feeling unhappier with their pay compared to men, women still feel more pride in what they do. Despite this, 41% of women would not recommend working at their organisation to friends and family.

Lord Mark Price, Founder of WorkL comments on the report’s findings: “This report flags to employers the continued need to support women at work, especially their Wellbeing and to address pay inequality. Supporting women in male-dominated sectors, such as Defence and Transport & Logistics should also be a priority for employers in this sector as they are the unhappiest so far this year.”

The evidence is irrefutable: workforces that support, advance and retain women (51% of the population) return better results. A McKinsey report from 2020 revealed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their boards were 25% more likely to deliver above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile. And there’s a link between women board directors and profitability, as corroborated by Women Count 2022, a study of FTSE350 companies by diversity consultancy, The Pipeline. It showed that corporations with more than a quarter of women on their executive committees realised a profit margin of 16% – more than 10 times higher than those with no female board members.

Too many women are leaving the workforce as highlighted by recent ONS data which shows that for the first time in decades the number of women leaving the workforce to look after family has increased. For women aged between 25 – 34 years old, it has increased by 12.6% in the last year. The “motherhood penalty” is severe and it doesn’t get easier later on in life. 10% of working menopausal women are considering leaving employment because of symptoms, but no official menopause policy in place says Fawcett Society research.

As Mariella Frostrup, Co-Founder of The Women In Work Summit said recently: “From the beginning of time our health has been overlooked, misunderstood, and only now comprehended as something entirely different to men’s and imperative to understand. In order to retain women in work, we must make change. More women equals more money!”

WorkL’s live employee experience database, the world’s largest, tracks the sentiment of employees at over 28,000 organisations in the UK alone, collected through its free Happy At Work test. The data helps organisations measure, track and improve employee engagement to deliver Extra Discretionary EffortTM to drive commercial performance. Extra Discretionary Effort calculates a measure of the financial value of the additional contribution made by engaged employees in an organisation.

WorkL is the insight partner for the inaugural Women in Work Summit later this year. Employee sentiment is the Gold Standard when it comes to measuring how well workplaces support women and where businesses need to focus their efforts.