More than pay: the gender gap in belonging

Working women don’t just face a pay gap: new research also shows there’s a gap in their feelings of belonging at work. 

Achiever’s Culture Report 2021 details that globally, just one-quarter of workers feel a strong sense of belonging within their organisations. 31% of men, compared to 22% of women, were found to feel this way.

Of the results in the report, this gender gap was found to be the “largest we found in our data analysis,” according to Dr Natalie Baumgartner, Achiever’s chief workforce scientist. She says this finding shows that

gender equality continues to be one of the biggest challenges for business leaders. Women do not feel the same sense of belonging that men feel and this means they are less likely to be bringing their whole selves to work. This impacts productivity, engagement, commitment and even feeling safe at work.”

The report also shows that women are less comfortable sharing dissenting opinions at work. They were reported to not find employee resource groups as helpful as men do, in terms of fostering feelings of connection to their employers and teams. By the same token, women were more likely to say that their needs still aren’t being met by their company’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. The gender pay gap was noted as a contributing factor too — with this continuing to stifle women’s feelings of value at work.

Many workers of color felt a greater sense of belonging while operating remotely — with Black women having said remote work enables them to manage microaggressions and work stress.

Promisingly, the report shows that those who do feel a strong sense of belonging at work, were those who were led by a diverse group of senior leaders.

So what was found to boost employee’s feelings of belonging and sense of engagement? Recognition. The respondents noted that those who had received some kind of recognition in the last week since their being surveyed, were almost twice as likely to have a strong sense of belonging.

For more information, read the full article by Women’s Agenda here, or download the full report from Achievers HERE.