Women experience steeper engagement drops than men after 2 years on the job
- A new Aon study shows that engagement for women dropped by 13% in the first two years on the job, but dropped only 9% for men during the same period.
- On the subject of fair pay, the study found a 16% drop in the number of women who felt they were fairly compensated by the end of year two, though that same measure dropped just 10% for men. Among workers under age 25, 46% of men felt they were paid fairly compared with 37% of women.
- The percentage of women who felt it would take a lot for them to leave their jobs dropped by 12 points for women in year two, but dropped only 4 percentage points for men. Also, men under 25 in the study (62%) were more likely to feel they had enough opportunities to gain new skills than women in the same age group (52%).
Gender disparities persist in many areas — engagement, pay, advancement and retention — despite the fact that nearly half the workforce is made up of women.
Pay disparity seems to be getting the most attention. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that the pay gap has narrowed slightly this year with women now earning 80.5 cents on every dollar men earn instead of 79.6 cents in 2015. But the news is no cause for celebration; women made pay gains not because their work is being valued, but because men's wages dipped.
Google employees allege that the company pays women less than men and that the pay gap follows women even as their careers advance. The U.S. Labor Department is examining Google's pay practices, although the tech giant denies that they're creating an unfair playing ground. More disclosures of wage disparities are needed to align women's pay and those of minorities with men's.
Other disparities besides pay are equally egregious for women. If women aren't feeling engaged or having the same career opportunities as men, equity in the workplace will remain an elusive goal. Employers must be willing to overhaul their cultures, if necessary, to ensure that fair practices are the rule and not merely a pledge.