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Only 36% women said they’re worried about losing their jobs in the current economic downturn, but 42% are concerned the downturn will negatively impact their promotional opportunities, according to a new report from HiBob for International Women’s Day. Last year, women were less likely than their male counterparts to receive promotions and more likely to report that their company doesn’t promote genders equally.

To shed light on workplace gender issues like pay gaps and a lack of promotions and benefits, HiBob commissioned a national survey of 2,000 Americans who worked full-time in hybrid or in-office settings over the past two years.

Pay, promotions, and perceptions differ 

Nationwide statistics show that women only earned an average of 82% of what men earned in 2022. But there may be some hope for closing the gap — HiBob found that the same percentage of women and men (46%) received pay increases last year. 

But, compared to their male counterparts, fewer women were promoted (22% compared to 35%) and received benefits increases (15% compared to 23%) in 2022. Women were also less likely than men to say their company offers benefits like extended paid parental leave and childcare.

There were also notable differences in perceptions regarding pay and promotions — men were more likely than women to believe that both genders are paid equally (68% compared to 49%) and promoted equally (69% compared to 54%) within their companies. And while 30% of women and 31% of men reported a balance of women and men leaders at their company, only 38% of women said their company made a clear commitment to building female leadership in 2022, while nearly half (48%) of men believed this to be true. 

Despite these differences, women were just as confident as men in their work performance, with 85% of American workers overall reporting such confidence.

Mandates motivate women to return to office

After the Great Resignation, fewer women were looking to change jobs last year — more women stayed in their jobs than in 2021 (67% compared to 61%) and fewer made plans to leave the following year (10% compared to 13%). In a close comparison, six in 10 men said they were still working at the same company in 2022, and just 11% said they want to seek out a new job in 2023.

However, if they do decide to leave for another job, women said flexible work opportunities (49%) and pay increases (65%) are most likely to motivate them. Men were less likely to cite these motivators (41% and 55%, respectively). 

Women were also more likely than men to say that a top reason for returning to the office was because of a company mandate (40% compared to 29%). Other top reasons women reported working from the office were face-to-face interactions (36%), easier team communication (29%), and a change of scenery (24%). But these, among other non-mandate reasons for working in-office, were more commonly cited by men, indicating that women are more likely to prefer working remotely. 

Perhaps because of the pressure to return to the office, more women than men said they expected their work-life balance to get worse this year (21% compared to 31%) or stay the same (44% compared to 27%).

While HiBob’s report shows that women are confident and stable in their work and receiving raises just as often as men, there’s still work to be done in terms of differences in perception, compensation and benefits, and promotional and leadership opportunities.

See the full report for more insights on gender issues in the workplace.