1 in 5 Women Have Missed Out On a Promotion to a Male Colleague

Glassdoor Research Explores Reality Experienced By Women in the Workplace

London (5th March, 2020) Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job and recruiting sites, has released research ahead of International Women’s Day (Sunday 8th March) looking at the experiences and challenges of women at work.

Career Progression

In a survey*, 20 percent of women say they have missed out on a promotion at work to a colleague of the opposite sex, rising to 24 percent of women aged between 16 – 24 and 28 percent of women aged between 25 – 34 years old. In addition, almost a fifth (18 percent) believe their gender holds them back at work. 

Worryingly, less than half (49 percent) of women say they are comfortable putting themselves forward for new opportunities at work. Numerous proactive government and company-level efforts are trying to get more women in senior positions and reduce the number of women missing out on promotions. The Hampton-Alexander Review recently announced that FTSE 100 has met the target of 33 percent women on boards, but also highlighted a lack of women in senior and executive roles. This is supported by 35 percent of those surveyed believing that their company should do more to promote women into senior positions, with sentiment among men even stronger at 38 percent. 

Pay Equality

According to Glassdoor Economic Research,  the unadjusted pay gap in the UK means that women earn 82p for every £1 that men earn. There are many reasons at play, such as occupational sorting with women overrepresented in lower paying, flexible jobs, but women are also believed to be less confident when it comes to negotiating higher salaries for themselves. Glassdoor’s research today shows that just over a fifth (22 percent) of women feel comfortable asking for a pay rise at work, compared to a third (33 percent) of men.

Jo Cresswell, Careers Expert, at Glassdoor, comments: “While women have traditionally taken on lower paid jobs which provide them with flexibility to start and look after a family, we’ve gone through a step change with women now increasingly prioritising career progression. This means we are seeing more women reaching more senior positions before taking a career break. However, salaries have not kept up with this trend and women are still, on average, paid proportionally less than men.”

Workplace Experience

That being said, employees place a company’s culture and values over salary and compensation when it comes to workplace satisfaction. This could be as simple as a sense of belonging and being supported. Glassdoor’s research shows that more than half (51 percent) of women are working in businesses where they feel comfortable asking for time off work for family reasons, 57 percent feel comfortable asking for time off work for medical reasons and just under half (47 percent) feel comfortable speaking with their manager when they have a personal problem. 

Jo Cresswell adds: “Employees want to work in an environment in which they feel professionally challenged and personally supported, no matter what they have going on in their lives. It’s encouraging that women in particular feel comfortable raising personal challenges and situations with their managers, this will go a long way towards workplace satisfaction and a feeling of work life balance.”

Glassdoor’s mission is to help people everywhere find a job they love. It allows job seekers to understand what it’s really like to work at a business by reading reviews from current and former employees and also to understand what salary others are paid for a certain role.


Notes to Editors

*This survey, undertaken by Censuswide on behalf of Glassdoor, surveyed 2,015 UK employees between 5th – 7th February 2020.

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