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Gender Equity in the Workplace

Breaking down gender barriers and biases

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Representation of women in the workforce

Representation of women by seniority, Global
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At entry level, 46% of roles globally are held by women.

Climbing up the seniority ladder the share of women holding manager roles drops to 35%.

And at the top, only 25% of C-suite roles are held by women.

Women are more underrepresented the higher you go up the seniority ladder.

The barriers for women start as early as the manager level. Globally, the representation of women between Senior Individual Contributor and Manager drops by 9 percentage points.

Women get stuck even before they reach the first level of management. The pipeline of potential women leaders is being curtailed even at the early career stages. This gap only continues to widen the higher up the seniority ladder you go.

Call to Action

Navigate the barriers: Navigate the barriers: offer training and mentorship programmes for women at pre-manager level.

While overall, there are no significant gender differences in internal promotions, it plays out differently when it comes to leadership roles. Men are more likely to be promoted than women if the promotion results in a leadership role. Comparing the global average for men and women in 2021, men were 33% more likely to receive an internal leadership promotion than women.

Likelihood of internal promotions into leadership for men compared to women
2021 data

Call to Action

Know the bias: Offer training about unconscious bias for hiring managers and interviewers and focus on internal mobility, especially for women.

Globally, no industry has reached parity in leadership roles. While in industries like Education, Wellness and Fitness more than half of the workforce are women, there still remains a gap in women in leadership. Looking at industries that have been historically dominated by men, such as Construction and Manufacturing, the gap is even greater and not even 2 out of 10 leaders are women. This is not just an issue with hiring more women in general. The leadership imbalance needs to be specifically tackled.

Women are underrepresented in leadership across industries
Share of women in leadership compared to the share of women in that industry overall

Call to Action

Beat the bias: Ensure inclusive hiring practices which includes removing bias from job descriptions, having representative candidate slates, and making sure there’s diversity on interview panels.

Women and men in leadership roles list different skills on their profiles, even when they work in the same industry. Men list technical skills more often, whereas women tend to showcase their soft skills, business skills and skills that are specialised to their industry. These differences are likely a combination of different skill sets and different prioritisation of skill sets between genders.

Relative importance of skills in Finance
For each industry and seniority level, we identify the most important and unique skills based on LinkedIn’s Skills Genome. We then aggregate each skill’s prevalence and relevance within their skill group.
woman in workplace

Steps towards progress

The share of women hired into leadership positions is on the rise
Highlight an industry

Many industries saw a decline in women hired into leadership positions during 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some industries have rebounded to pre-COVID projected levels. Others have not:

Choose an industry
Annual share of women hired into leadership positions (2015 - 2022)
Compared to pre-COVID projections

The pandemic led many women to create their own opportunities by founding companies. While some women might have been at the point of re-evaluating their careers based on their passions, it is likely that many women were seeking greater flexibility to be able to juggle both professional and personal responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Call to Action

Embrace flexibility: Women are 24% more likely than men to apply to remote roles. Consider the importance of work flexibility and the role it plays in making workplaces equitable.
Many women created their own leadership opportunities through entrepreneurship
LinkedIn Founding Rate (indexed to 2016) in

The LinkedIn Founding Rate measures the growth of the share of founders in the LinkedIn platform since 2016. Globally, the growth rate of women in entrepreneurship outweighs the growth rate of their male counterparts, especially in countries that have a lower representation of women in leadership roles.

This trend accelerated during the pandemic. Globally, the share of founders grew by 45% for women and by 32% for men in 2020 compared to 2019. The pandemic has prompted everyone to think about what matters to them. Equally, it may have fuelled “necessity entrepreneurs” as women looked for greater flexibility as they were forced to juggle both professional and personal responsibilities like never before.

Bridging the gap

There is no silver bullet to achieving gender parity but there is a path forward.

We can start by tackling the challenges women face in reaching manager roles which is often that first step into leadership positions. That means organisations need to examine their internal mobility initiatives, especially when it comes to women in pre-manager positions. For example, this could include creating targeted mentoring and training programmes for women working at the pre-manager level as well as increased awareness and training about unconscious bias for hiring managers and interviewers at this level. If we don’t fix the equity gap that opens up at the entry-point to leadership, it will be much harder to create a pipeline of talented women in leadership roles later down the line.

Secondly, organisations need to think about making sure their hiring practices are inclusive and give everyone equal opportunity to get a leadership role. That includes removing bias from job descriptions, having representative candidate slates and including women on interview panels.

And thirdly, organisations need to think about flexibility. LinkedIn data shows that women are 24% more likely than men to apply to remote roles, underscoring the importance of flexibility to women and the role it plays in making workplaces equitable. However, to make sure that flexibility isn’t just ‘helping’ women carry the double responsibility of care and work, we need to make flexibility the standard for everyone.

During the pandemic, the so-called ‘double shift’ became too much for many women; stepping up at home meant stepping back from work, and some had to leave the workplace altogether. Flexibility can play a role in helping people to better manage caregiving responsibilities and encouraging people back into the workforce. Here at LinkedIn, we introduced the option for members to show career breaks on their profiles in part to help normalise career breaks and make unique career pathways something to be proud of.


This body of work represents the world seen through LinkedIn data, drawn from the anonymised and aggregated profile information of LinkedIn's 830+ million members around the world. As such, it is influenced by how members choose to use the platform, which can vary based on professional, social and regional culture, as well as overall site availability and accessibility.

In publishing these insights from LinkedIn's Economic Graph, we want to provide accurate statistics while ensuring our members' privacy. As a result, all data show aggregated information for the corresponding period following strict data quality thresholds that prevent disclosing any information about specific individuals.

Gender identity isn’t binary and we recognize that some LinkedIn members identify beyond the traditional gender constructs of “man” and “woman.” If not explicitly self-identified, we have inferred the gender of members included in this analysis either by the pronouns used on their LinkedIn profiles, or inferred on the basis of first name. Members whose gender could not be inferred as either man or woman were excluded from this analysis.

The share of women in leadership represents the total number of women holding Director, VP, C-suite or Partner positions divided by the total number of men and women holding these positions. The internal promotion rate reflects the number of LinkedIn members who added a new leadership position at the same employer to their profile in 2021 divided by the total number of members holding entry, senior IC or manager-level positions during that year.

The LinkedIn Founding Rate measures the number of LinkedIn members who added a new founder position to their profile in a year, divided by the number of members in that country (and gender) during that year. We then index this to the rate in 2016 to show how this rate has changed for each gender.

Global data includes all countries with at least 100,000 LinkedIn members as of May 2022.

User Terms

This is a GitHub site with information provided by LinkedIn. Use of this page is governed by the applicable GitHub terms, LinkedIn's data is provided pursuant to the User Agreement here. The data may not be used except as set forth in the foregoing terms.

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