Nearly half of women executives in revenue say they had considered quitting their jobs in 2021, according to the annual State of Women in Revenue Report. This report from the nonprofit Women in Revenue (WIR) — which includes professionals in fields like marketing and sales — highlights that pay equity is the top workplace concern.
Respondents to WIR’s newest survey include nearly 2,400 executives, emerging leaders (directors and managers), consultants and other contributors. The survey notes that these women share many commonly-expressed concerns, including the need for better work/life balance. However, this group is growingly concerned that they're being compensated unfairly.
Top workplace concern: Compensation transparency
The pay gap between men and women has remained relatively unchanged over the last 15 years, according to the Pew Research Center, with men earning roughly 20% more than women for the same work. But the coronavirus pandemic exacerbated certain workplace and financial pressures for women — such as caretaking and homeschooling — that forced many of them to consider cutting back on work.
As financial pressures become more intense, women in revenue roles report pay equity as a central concern. In the WIR report, women identified the top five challenges they’re facing at work today:
- Compensation transparency
- Community support and mentoring
- Work flexibility
- The Great Resignation (talent retention and career opportunities)
- Sexual harassment
Compensation was also the main concern in WIR’s 2021 survey. However, only 21% said it was the most important consideration when evaluating a job offer — that figure more than doubled to 52% in the 2022 survey.
Perhaps even more concerning is that women list sexual harassment as a primary workplace issue. According to WIR, these two issues may go hand in hand, with women of color experiencing the most inequitable pay, while also reporting greater concerns over workplace harassment.
Will pay transparency improve?
As the gender-based income gap threatens to further exacerbate resignation rates, WIR points out that companies urgently need action on "recruiting, mentorship programs, compensation equity and more." But according to a fall 2021 Salary.com survey, only about a third of companies have a policy supporting pay transparency.
Still, the culture of secrecy around pay could be slowly changing, if only out of necessity. As of May, New York City will require all job postings to include minimum and maximum pay rates. Plus, some states have already adopted requirements related to upfront salary disclosures, with others soon adopting them or considering them for the future.
In the meantime, employees may continue leaving their roles to seek better pay as they become more aware of their rights to discuss wages with colleagues and increasingly comfortable confronting pay disparities.
Methodology: Women in Revenue surveyed 2,396 women in sales and marketing, revenue operations, customer success and professional services from mid-November through December 2021.