Will workplace gender pay gaps close by 2024?

ManpowerGroup's report highlights progress and challenges in narrowing gender pay disparities

Will workplace gender pay gaps close by 2024?

ManpowerGroup's analysis, ‘World of Work Outlook for Women in 2024,’ sheds light on the ongoing gender equity challenges and the strides various industries are making towards addressing them.  

Despite significant gender gaps remaining, the report underscores a positive trend with more employers adopting progressive policies, upskilling opportunities, and flexibility to promote equity.  

However, it reveals that only 41 percent of employers have achieved full gender equity, indicating there is still much work to be done.   

Industries leading in gender equity efforts include Consumer Goods and Services at 69 percent, Financials and Real Estate at 68 percent, Communications Services and Health Care and Life Sciences both at 67 percent, and Information Technology at 66 percent.  

These sectors exemplify the potential for other industries to follow suit in creating a more equitable working environment for women

“In a world of talent shortages, we need everyone contributing to employment in a meaningful way. Bringing women into the workforce with an equal playing field is an economic imperative, not a nice-to-have,” stated Becky Frankiewicz, ManpowerGroup chief commercial officer. 

She highlights the importance of understanding what women expect and need as the foundation for building equity, advocating for active upskilling, empowering allyship, and leveraging technology for flexibility to unlock growth potential for both women and organizations.   

Key Report Findings:   

  • Flexibility as a Key to Retention: Flexible working policies are identified by 37 percent of employers as the most effective means for retaining and attracting diverse talent. Leadership development (30 percent), inclusive culture (29 percent), coaching/mentoring (28 percent), and academic partnerships (24 percent) are also noted as significant initiatives. 

  • Closing the Leadership Gap: Thirty percent of organizations report that leadership development programs are effectively narrowing the promotion gaps to management positions, historically faced by women. 

  • Technology Enhancing Equality: Sixty-five percent of employers recognize new technology as a facilitator for more flexible work environments that promote gender equality. Advances in technology are also praised for diversifying IT talent pipelines (62 percent) and aiding gender-neutral recruitment practices (52 percent). 

  • Pay Equity Progress: Fifty-two percent of respondents are on track with pay equity initiatives, with sectors like Financials and Real Estate (59 percent), Communications Services (58 percent), and Information Technology (58 percent) leading the charge. Conversely, Industrials and Materials (51 percent), Consumer Goods and Services (50 percent), and Health Care and Life Sciences (49 percent) are slightly behind. 

  • Diverse Representation Across Roles: Efforts to increase women candidates vary, with administrative (51 percent) and operational (48 percent) roles seeing higher representation. STEM fields and top-level management positions report less female representation, at 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively.