April 10, 2018

On Equal Pay Day, SHE Media’s Wage Equality Survey Reveals 1 in 3 Women Believe the Wage Gap Will Never Close

94% of Women Believe a Wage Gap Exists Between Men & Women 

Nearly Half (46%) of Women Have Not Been Promoted in the Past 5 Years

There Is Hope on the Horizon: 70% Think Social Movements Like Lean In, #MeToo and #TimesUp 
Are Making a Positive Difference

NEW YORK, NY – April 10, 2018 – SHE Media, formerly SheKnows Media, is a mission-driven digital media company created for and by women with approximately 60 million unique visitors per month (comScore) and 350 million-plus social media fans and followers, today revealed the results of a survey designed to look at the progress made toward gender parity in the workplace.                                                           

The results showed that little progress has been made in the post-Lean In world. Of the 1,447 working U.S. women who took the Wage Equality Survey, 40% of women have received salary increases of 5% or less in the past five years - pacing well behind the cost of living increase1 during the same timeframe. In addition:

  • Most women (55%) work for companies where less than 10% of their executives are women, and 16% work for companies that have no women at the VP level or above

  • 60% believe becoming a parent negatively affects a person’s opportunity for advancement in the workplace

  • 37% are dissatisfied with their opportunities for advancement at their company

  • 37% do not think women of color have equal opportunities for advancement at their company

  • 78% believe the US should require that businesses provide a detailed breakdown of what men and women earn

  • 47% say women are less likely to ask for raises and promotions than men

  • 41% would not look for a new job if they found out they were paid less than a man at their company with similar responsibilities

  • 33% would be less motivated to work toward a promotion if they found out a male colleague made more for the same job

“Women remain underrepresented at executive leadership levels at organizations of all sizes and across all industries – even, ironically, in the women’s media space,” said Samantha Skey, CEO, SHE Media. “The process of reviewing and publishing our own compensation and career advancement data by gender is a step toward the kind of transparency that will move us all forward. While this exercise reveals that we are representing our mission to advance women’s leadership positions, we have work to do in addressing additional barriers faced by women of color.” 

The survey did point to some positive signs of change:

  • 73% of women believe women in leadership roles are responsible for helping other women with career mentorship, growth opportunities and greater responsibilities

  • 52% believe they make their own opportunities for advancement

  • 34% have received help advancing their career from men in leadership positions

  • 74% of women are more likely to buy products or services from companies founded by women

SHE Media has taken strides to build a culture that represents its mission of empowering women. Over the last five years, the company’s executive leadership team has shifted from nearly all men to one that’s predominantly female. Currently, 67% of SHE Media executives at the Vice President level and above are female.  Advancement opportunities for women at all levels within the organization have also significantly grown. 83% of women employed at SHE Media since 2013 have received at least one promotion, and salary increases for such women averaged 50%.

Recognizing that equality in the workplace means considering the needs of all employees, the company began offering paid paternity leave for new fathers in 2013. Its paid benefits package for birth/adoption has been enhanced over the past five years, and infertility coverage was added in 2016.

“Bottom line: diversity is good for business. At The Female Quotient, we celebrate organizations like SHE Media that are walking the walk when it comes to creating a forum where women are encouraged to develop their career paths and connect with each other in the name of advancing gender equality in the workplace,” said The Female Quotient CEO Shelley Zalis.

“It is so important for women to continue to spread awareness and encourage conversation around these issues in order to generate action,” said Brit Morin, CEO of Brit & Co. “While we’re starting to see momentum, it’s critical for us to continue use our platforms to share women’s stories to push these conversations forward.”

“The marketing and media industry is far too homogenous. When She Runs It started, we were focused on giving more women a seat at the table. Today, we want to see more women at the head of the table, and we are encouraged by the strides that organizations like SHE Media are taking to make this a reality,” added Lynn Branigan, President and CEO of She Runs It.

“There is no question - we need more women in leadership positions. If you can’t see it. You can’t be it. It’s better for our industry, better for business and better for society,” said Lisa Sherman, CEO of the Ad Council.


SheKnows Media Wage Equality Survey, April 2018

1: Cost of living increase from 2013 to 2018 is calculated at 6.64%: https://www.aier.org/cost-living-calculator


About SHE Media

SHE Media is a mission-driven digital media company created by and for women with approximately 60 million unique visitors per month (comScore) and 350 million-plus social media fans and followers. Our mission is to validate women’s voices and leadership as a unifying force for global good. The SHE Media Partner Network is the leading source for thousands of content creators, offering a diverse portfolio of monetization opportunities and educational materials to help them turn their passions into profit. SHE Media encompasses a family of leading media properties alongside our flagship sites: SheKnows.comSTYLECASTER, and BlogHer, which hosts the world’s leading events for female content creators and entrepreneurs. SHE Media is also the creator of innovative platforms that include: The #Femvertising Awards, which honors the best pro-female advertising each year; Hatch, a resource for parents featuring kid-generated content; and The Pitch, a live event series for women entrepreneurs.

Part of Penske Media Corporation (PMC), SHE Media is based in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and Scottsdale, Ariz. Follow SHE Media on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Jenni Ottum     
Sr. Director, Public Relations          
SHE Media