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Here’s evidence that the glass ceiling and gender wage gap are real

Women tend to receive promotions earlier in their careers than men, but that changes the higher up they go.

Here’s evidence that the glass ceiling and gender wage gap are real
[Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash]
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There are those who think the glass ceiling and gender wage gap are myths. But based on anonymized payroll and HR data from more than 13 million employees, they are both very real.

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The 2019 “State of the Workforce Report” from the ADP Research Institute found that employers overall promote 8.9% of their employees annually, with an average wage increase of 17.4%. Among them, women tend to receive promotions earlier in their careers than men, with an average of 6.6 years into their working life for women as compared to 7.3 for men.

Things start to change as women move up the org chart. There’s a steep drop-off at the fourth level of management, as women only represent 23% of executives. Among the top brass or sixth level, women comprise only 15%.

Salary gaps increase concurrently with promotions. Average wage is $29.03 per hour at the individual contributor level, with women earning 79% of what men earn in the same positions. That drops to 77% at the top levels of the firm.

That may be because women tend to stay with one company longer than men, and this report found that employees are more than 20% more likely to get promoted to management positions from within, and the percentage of internal hires increases for higher levels in the organization.

You can read the full results of the report here.

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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