As International Women’s Day approaches, HiBob, the HR platform reshaping how organisations operate in the modern workplace, releases its third annual Women in the Workplace report.

The findings underscore a stark contrast in perceptions between men and women on workplace equality.

Despite 93 percent of women feeling confident at work, HiBob’s report highlights persistent gender-based pay and promotion discrepancies. The survey, conducted ahead of International Women’s Day, reveals that only one in ten men believe they are paid more than women, in stark contrast to a third of women (31%) who perceive a significant pay gap. This sharp disconnect underscores the challenges in achieving workplace equality.

Men’s Perceptions Clash with Women’s Reality

Despite the UK Government’s 2022/23 report indicating higher median hourly pay for men in 79 percent of organisations, 79 percent of men believe both genders are paid equally. In comparison, only 55 percent of women share this belief, emphasising the disparities in pay gap perception.

While 93 percent of both genders express confidence in their work performance, the data reveals that 33 percent of women were not promoted in pay, benefits, or position in 2023, compared to 25 percent of men. However, only 17 percent of men believe they are promoted more often or quickly than women, highlighting a substantial difference in perceptions of promotion gaps.

Despite the notable pay gap progress, only 31 percent of UK workers believe their organisations are actively working to improve salary transparency.

Women Made to Feel ‘Less Qualified’ and Hindered by Parenthood

Beyond pay and promotion gaps, the report indicates that significantly more women (23%) than men (9%) feel uncomfortable or less qualified at work due to their gender. Of those women, 40 percent reported incidents every few months, and 22 percent quite often.

Regarding the impact of parenthood on career progression, 54 percent of women report a negative effect compared to 33 percent of men. Intriguingly, 31 percent of men believe children have a positive impact on career progression, in contrast to 19 percent of women.

Female Leadership Challenges

Concerning support for women in leadership positions, only 32 percent of women report their companies making visible commitments in the last year. Additionally, only 5 percent say their companies offer female leadership mentoring schemes, and merely 10 percent experience their company’s attitude towards women via executive leadership.

Nirit Peled-Muntz, Chief People Officer at HiBob, emphasises the need for strategic plans and actions to support female parity in the workplace. She notes, “Progressing towards equality is a smart business move,” citing McKinsey’s Diversity Matters report, which found that top-quartile companies have a 39 percent greater likelihood of financial outperformance.

Peled-Muntz concludes, “Treating employees right is good business practice. After a year of limited progress, I hope to see employers take deliberate strides towards equality in the workplace this year.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.