NEWS4 October 2022

Mothers face particular obstacles in research industry

B2B Covid-19 News North America Trends

US – Work-life balance has worsened for mothers working in the market research industry, while there are gender-based differences in attitudes towards remote working, according to a study published by Women in Research (WIRe).

Woman sitting at a desk using a laptop

The Gender and Career Equity in the Market Research Industry’ research found that 29% of participants identifying as mothers cited ‘work-life balance’ as a factor affecting their career satisfaction – a decrease of 13 percentage points compared with the previous wave of the research in 2017.

Additionally, 43% of mothers surveyed reported experiencing job stress or burnout (up 10 percentage points compared with the 2017 findings).

The research surveyed over 800 participants of all genders in 34 countries (skewed towards the US) between May and July of this year. The study was conducted in partnership with WIRe corporate donor Material and with data collection support from WIRe’s network.

The majority of chief executives ( 77%) are male, according to the report, while 23% are women – up 3% since the previous wave of the research in 2017. Despite the increase, the current rate of growth suggests that the industry will not see gender parity for this metric until 2067.

The study also found an absence of pay equality across genders regardless of seniority level. The pay gap between senior-level men and women widened from $8,000 in 2017 to $13,000 in 2022.

Three-quarters ( 74%) of women prefer to work remotely, compared to 65% of men, found the research. Additionally, while 29% of women surveyed agreed with the statement that Covid-19 ‘showed I wanted to work permanently remotely’, men were more likely to see the value of physical workspaces – 28% agreed that the pandemic showed them that ‘having in-person interactions/a physical office space is important to my career’.

Since 2017, women have gained an increased sense of job satisfaction, gaining five percentage points in the 2022 wave, whereas men lost four percentage points during the same period.

Michelle Andre, managing director, Women in Research, said: “The findings of this study are critical in our post-pandemic world. Special circumstances such as increased caretaking responsibilities, career setbacks, and financial struggle have irrevocably impacted equity in all facets of professional life and demand greater attention from our industry leaders.”