Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of women say inadequate compensation increases is their biggest concern in 2024, according to a new survey by Robert Half Canada Inc.

The survey, which polled more than 760 workers, also found three-quarters (75 per cent) of women cited wider economic changes as a major concern.

It’s important for employers to regularly review their compensation and workplace policies to ensure they’re not unintentionally passing over women, says Sandra Lavoy, Robert Half’s regional vice-president. Women who have taken maternity leave can often be overlooked when it comes to pay raises, so ensuring merit evaluations only focus on quality of work, timelines and value added to the organization is critical for ensuring equity in the workplace.

Read: How employers can leverage pay transparency to achieve pay equity

“Women have seen so many inequities over so many years. They want to be recognized and valued at work — that means being paid fairly and equal to men.”

The survey noted more than half (56 per cent) of women said they feel their company provides ample opportunities for career growth, though the percentage was substantially lower than the percentage of men (72 percent) who said they felt the same. Lavoy views this as good news, but says it underscores the need for employers to provide women workers with a clear path for career advancement.

It’s also important for employers to revisit their benefits and compensation structure to ensure employees are paid fairly for their work and the value they add to the company. However, she adds it’s equally vital that they continually engage women in conversations surrounding career growth within the company.

Another crucial area for maintaining a diverse workforce that includes women is flexibility, Lavoy notes. Robert Half’s survey found roughly a third (35 per cent) of women said they’re looking or planning to look for a new job in the first half of the year. However, among those choosing to stay with their company, 44 per cent said the No. 1 reason they weren’t leaving their current role is because it offers a level of flexibility they aren’t willing to lose.

Women are still taking on the bulk of household responsibilities, including caring for older family members, so having a flexible workplace that allows time for them to pick up their kids, go to their children’s activities or attend doctor’s appointments with family members can be a lifeline for women workers, she says.

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