New study finds workplace ‘entitlement gap’ is preventing female career progression

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  • New research conducted by LinkedIn has found what they’re coining as an ‘entitlement gap’ is affecting women’s career progression.

    This gap conditions women to feel more reluctant to ask for promotions or pay rises at work in comparison to men.

    At the various different stages of pay and promotion negotiations, women came behind men. The findings indicated that often this was because they were conditioned to question whether they should be asking in the first place. Women took longer to ask for promotions and weren’t as likely to negotiate one at all. Nearly half of the women surveyed admitting they’d never negotiated a pay rise with their employer.

    Carried out in association with educational charity The Female Lead, the study unearthed some shocking statistics. 44% of women said they feel less entitled to promotions or increased salary at work. 35% of women surveyed had felt an entitlement gap around their own career progression or had seen it experienced by others. That’s over a third.

    Not just that, but far more men shared they’d had to negotiate pay for a new role than women (63% versus 40%). The same split stood when asked about negotiating pay increase with current employers (61% men versus 38% women).

    And what about children? A large majority of women surveyed – 69% – said giving birth affected their career progression. This is even with businesses working harder to make the workspace more accommodating for new parents.

    Working women mid-career are making huge strides but, in too many cases, are held back by an unentitled mindset,” says Edwina Dunn, founder of The Female Lead. “Our in-depth research points to the psychological theory. It acknowledges the way women have been socially conditioned to feel less entitled than men. This has created an entitlement gap which has got worse during the COVID outbreak.”

    The answer? Dunn shares that it can’t be solved by trying to ‘fix women’, but if a ‘wholesale transformation of business culture’ were to happen, we could see change. “It would raise awareness of the Entitlement Gap and over time to help to close it,” she shares.

    Senior Director at LinkedIn, Janine Chamberlin, adds: “To most women, the findings of our study will come as no surprise – there’s no doubt women have had a tough time this past year.”

    That much is true – here at Marie Claire, we’ve reported on how disproportionately female careers have been impacted by Coronavirus. 47% of mothers have quit or been made redundant in lockdown compared to 13% of men, and during the she-cession in November, stats showed the female unemployment rate at 17%, compared to 13% for men.

    “We’ve seen a surge in conversations on LinkedIn around the impact COVID-19 has had on working women,” Chamberlin shares. “Having shared my own experiences around the impact of the pandemic, I’d love others to do the same; to talk about the challenges and experiences we’re facing every day as a way of supporting each other. It’s only by sharing our experiences and having these conversations, that we truly begin to change things.”

    Have you ever experienced an entitlement gap or have you seen someone else experiencing one?

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