Over one-third of women report feeling financially secure, concern over retirement savings remains top of mind in 2023
New York, NY — March 8, 2023 — Amidst the ongoing reinvention of the workplace and work culture in the U.S., women continue to face significant financial barriers and career hurdles. According to a new survey released today by Laurel Road, a digital banking platform of KeyBank with specialized offerings for healthcare and business professionals, 84% of women feel apprehensive about staying on track with their financial goals due to the current economic environment.
The sixth-annual survey from Laurel Road, which explores financial security and employment trends among 2,006 U.S. college-educated adults, found that 2 in 3 women overall report that they feel behind schedule regarding personal financial security, with 35% of all women identifying retirement savings as a key area they are behind in—while BIPOC women feeling generally behind on all financial goals. Findings also indicated not having enough money (60%) and too many other responsibilities (41%) are key hurdles in making headway toward their goals.
Women Continue to Feel Undervalued at Work
While economic uncertainty is top of mind, 64% of college-educated women feel that their current salary does not match their value, a slight decrease from the 69% of college-educated women who reported feeling undervalued last year. In comparison, only 39% of college men feel they are undervalued.
For the Right Salary, Women are Open to New Opportunities
Unsurprisingly, with only 37% of women receiving a salary they feel correlates with their value, 61% of women surveyed shared that a higher salary would encourage them to leave their current role. This was followed by remote work opportunities (28%), better work-life balance (32%), and stronger benefit packages (31%) as other top motivators for women to leave their current roles. This sentiment echoes last year’s survey findings, in which women reported higher pay (68%), remote work (34%), better work-life balance (34%) and better management (21%) as the top reasons to leave their current roles.
“Our annual study is one small addition to the many voices of women who are bringing these issues to light, especially during Women’s History Month. As we continue to field this study year after year, our goal is to bring transparency to the issues women face in the workplace every day which can impact their quality of life, both emotionally and financially,” shared Alyssa Schaefer, General Manager & Chief Experience Officer at Laurel Road. “We often set up forums and panels to openly discuss such issues and our hope is that this research helps spark similar conversations and initiatives across the country. Ultimately, we want to encourage change by fostering open dialogue about these reoccurring trends.”
Companies Miss the Mark on Narrowing the Pay Gap
Over half (52%) of the women surveyed reported feeling their employers are not doing all they can to lessen the gender pay gap, with 59% of BIPOC women agreeing that their company hasn’t been successful in improving pay disparity. This is an increase from the 44% and 48% of women and BIPOC women, respectively, who felt their companies missed the mark last year.
Women Feeling More Financially Secure
While there is still room for improvement, especially with regards to the wage gap, overall, more women (34%) reported feeling financially secure this year than last (25%).
This finding is encouraging, as it demonstrates an increase in women taking charge of their finances and planning for the future. Despite a need for larger systematic changes, on an individual level, women are becoming more empowered to seek and create a secure financial future for themselves.
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. from February 21-23 among 2,006 U.S. adults by HarrisX. The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age by gender, region, race/ethnicity, income, and education where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.
About Laurel Road
Laurel Road is a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank that provides tailored offerings to support the financial wellbeing of healthcare and business professionals. Laurel Road’s banking and lending solutions, including Loyalty Checking and High Yield Savings accounts, Student Loan Cashback Credit Card, Student Loan Refinancing, Mortgages, Personal Loans and more, provide our members with a simplified, personalized experience that helps them better navigate their financial journey and achieve life’s goals. Additionally, Laurel Road has reimagined banking and financial management for physicians and dentists through Laurel Road for Doctors, a tailored digital experience made up of banking, insights, and exclusive benefits to provide the financial help and peace of mind they need through each career stage. In spring of 2022, Laurel Road launched Loyalty Checking, the first checking account designed with nurses in mind, furthering the company’s commitment to healthcare professionals.