Working Women Cite Salary & Promotions Among Chief Concerns

Despite setbacks, some signs of improvement for work-life balance and less stress come to light.
Group of diverse women doing work around a table in an office

NATIONAL REPORT — Fewer women secured pay raises over the last year compared to the previous 12 months, according to the 2024 "Women at Work" poll from CNBC and SurveyMonkey.

The annual survey polled more than 9,000 women in the United States and found just 39% of respondents said their salary is higher now than it was in March 2023 vs. 44% who said so in the 2023 survey. Additionally, 17% of women say their salary is lower than it was a year ago, up from 15% of respondents who reported a pay decrease last year.

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Women are facing setbacks not just in pay, but also with promotions, according to the poll. A total of 18% of women, the same percentage as last year, said their career has experienced a setback, while 20% said their career has advanced (on par with 21% of them who said the same a year ago). However, results indicate this is not because of a lack of ambition with nearly every woman who responded to the survey saying she was either very ambitious (48%) or somewhat ambitious (40%).

The survey additionally found fewer working women quit their jobs in the last 12 months compared to the prior two years, though 22% of respondents have considered quitting with stress and burnout as a key reason for considering quitting.

"While we do see a decline in women leaving their jobs year over year, burnout and a need for flexibility remain concerns," said Lara Belonogoff, senior director of brand management and research at SurveyMonkey. "The findings also suggest sluggish progress in salary increases for women, which underscores the need for comprehensive strategies to address gender pay disparities."

Despite these setbacks, there are small signs of improvement. Less than a quarter (24%) of working women said their work-life balance has improved over the past year vs. 20% who say it had worsened. A quarter of women also said their biggest source of work-related stress is being overwhelmed with work, which is down 3 points from a year ago, and 45% of women say they "rarely" or "never" feel burnt out at work, which is up 4 points year over year.

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The CNBC and SurveyMonkey "Women at Work" online poll was conducted Feb. 23 to March 4 among a national sample of 19,743 adults, including 9,786 women. 

Complete results of the survey can be found here.

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