Women in the Workplace

Women in the Workplace - Office Pulse Study

Many companies have been making an effort to promote gender equality in the workplace, whether through diversity seminars and HR workshops or simply by offering more opportunities to women than were previously afforded. Despite the corporate song and dance, though, many women still feel a discrepancy in pay.

In a recent Office Pulse survey of 518 North American professionals, nearly half of women (46%) said they think there is a gender pay gap at their company – compared to a mere 15% of men who said the same. Younger Millennials – those aged 25-29 – were more likely than any other age group to report a perceived gender pay gap, at 44%. A majority of younger Millennials (52%) also don’t feel they’re fairly compensated for the work they do, while a larger percentage of adults over 30 (52%-69%) do feel their pay is fair.

What speaks volumes for some, though, is how you’re treated. Slightly fewer women (23%) than men (28%) feel their ideas are always valued in the workplace, but overall, more than two-thirds of respondents feel their ideas are only “sometimes” valued.

Corporate Confidence

Compared to men, women are overall less confident that their office culture promotes gender equality. 48% of men said they were “fairly” or “very confident” in their office culture, compared to only 36% of women who said the same. More women (46%) than men (30%) reported feeling uncomfortable after an inappropriate comment was made in the workplace, and younger Millennials reported the highest rates of this (54%).

How confident are you that your office has a culture that promotes gender equality?

Not very confident

Somewhat confident


Fairly confident

Very confident





Family Ties

We all make sacrifices throughout our careers, but some choices are certainly tougher than others. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they’ve had to make sacrifices in their career, with health and social life first to go.

What do you feel you’ve had to sacrifice throughout your career?

Social life


Starting a family






84% of the women who said they’ve had to choose between family and career said the choice bothered them, while only 68% of men said the same.

Paying it Forward

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little guidance from someone older and wiser? Although getting a mentor is common career advice, it doesn’t seem to be common practice. Only 26% of professionals surveyed said they had a mentor, but many seemed happy to share their wisdom.

Do you have a mentor? (% shown)


Yes, a man
Yes, a woman
No, none


When asked what advice they had for young women entering the business world, respondents used phrases like “be yourself,” “stand up” and “speak up” most often, with each one appearing over 20 times. The word “strong” was used 37 times, for phrases including “be strong” and “stay strong.” Similarly, “confident” appeared 25 times.

Stand up for yourself and don’t take any crap from anyone. Also, don’t make the coffee.

Female, aged 45-49

Be confident and understand you are just as smart and strong as your male counterparts.

Female, aged 30-34

Your voice matters, use it. Don’t be afraid to speak up.

Female, aged 35-44

Negotiate what you’re worth when it comes to your salary. We leave too much on the table because we are too embarrassed to ask for it.

Female, aged 35-44

Be yourself. When you are not yourself in the business world, you spend too much energy thinking of what others think of you. Be yourself and use that extra mental, physical, and emotional strength on getting better in your skills and craft.

Male, aged 30-34

Other insights include:

  • 61% of those surveyed said their companies have C-level women.

  • Only 38% of Canadians said their managers were women, while two-thirds said they reported to a male manager. In the US, on the other hand, 53% had female managers.

  • Only 19% of respondents copped to having direct knowledge of someone at their workplace being disciplined for their treatment of/attitude toward women. Older Gen-Xers (ages 50-54) reported the highest rates of this, with 27%.

A Long Way to Go

Although there’s been a huge push for gender equality in the workplace since the #MeToo Movement, both women and men seem to believe there’s work still to be done – and it’s not work that will do itself. Companies and colleagues alike will need to commit to making adjustments before we see significant, radical change.

About Office Pulse

Office Pulse by Captivate offers marketers timely analysis and insights from a proprietary panel of upscale professionals in the top markets. The Office Pulse panel of more than 8,000 influential consumers and business decision makers includes C-level executives, Millennials, middle management, small business owners, working women and working moms.

About Captivate

Known for its vast network of nearly 12,000 elevator displays located in 1,600 premier office buildings across North America, Captivate connects advertisers with 13 million unique monthly viewers through creative, research-driven and Nielsen-measured advertising and marketing programs. By engaging its viewers with timely news and actionable information that helps balance the personal and professional demands of the workday, Captivate provides advertisers with a highly desirable and difficult-to-reach audience of affluent and influential business professionals. Founded in 1997, Captivate is owned by Generation Partners. For more information, please visit www.captivate.com.