Pandemic impacts women's progress in the workplace

Posted at 7:12 AM, Mar 23, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The ongoing pandemic has been impacting women's progress at work. That's according to a new study that says the gender gap in requests for promotions and pay raises is widening.

Men say they are around 8% less comfortable asking for a raise now while women are about 12% less comfortable, according to job listing website Indeed. It's a similar story when it comes to feeling comfortable asking for a promotion.

An economist with Indeed thinks the additional responsibilities women have been taking on at home during the pandemic are part of what's affecting this.

"Women may feel that, 'hey, I'm not able to put in 100% at work and therefore I don't feel like I have been able to over-perform, and so, I don't feel comfortable asking my boss or manager for this pay raise or promotion,'" said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economic with Indeed Hiring Lab.

Experts say another potential factor is that women don't want to look ungrateful or difficult as their employer is dealing with keeping staff or budget issues.

Older women have been the least comfortable asking for a raise or promotion.

If you have been feeling this way, it's worth revisiting the idea and asking if now could be a good time, or maybe a few months from now.

"Make that case and really convince yourself that you know you deserve this you have been putting in the work," said Konkel. "So that you know that confidence shines through in that request and that you have you know definitive reasons to say, 'I worked on this project, I put in these hours.'"

It's important to advocate for yourself because if you don't, this can greatly affect your lifetime earnings.

Indeed found one silver lining of the pandemic: They found the gap has narrowed between men and women feeling comfortable asking for more flexibility at work.

Younger women in particular have seen gains in feeling good about asking for flexibility on work location, hours and schedule.

Experts advise having those conversations about keeping that flexibility with your boss now and building your case in a similar way to how you would when asking for a raise or promotion.