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Women still not asking for promotions or pay raises, taking 'career breaks' as new data shows just 1% increase in female leadership since 2016

Photo by Joseph Branston/Future via Getty Images

The number of women in leadership roles has grown just one percentage point from 2016 to 2023 worldwide, according to new data from LinkedIn, with historical trends and reasoning remaining largely the same.

In an interview with MSNBC, a LinkedIn career expert named Catherine Fisher explained a multitude of factors that are resulting in the stagnant numbers. One such factor is caretaking; women are still choosing to be the predominant caretakers.

"Women still take on a disproportionate level of caretaking responsibilities," says Fisher, before blaming an overall societal bias.

"There are still lingering biases that continue to hold women back from reaching their full potential," she adds.

According to the report, however, women still feel less confident than men when it comes to getting a promotion, asking for a new opportunity, or asking for a pay raise.

Data shows that across all senior positions, women have been represented at a flat rate of 42% from 2016 to 2023. In senior leadership positions, that number has increased just one point, from 31% to 32%, over the same time period.

Image courtesy LinkedIn

Additionally, "career breaks" are common among female employees. In 2022, 64% of women reported taking a break at some point in their career. The top three reasons for breaks were parental leave (22%), medical leave (17%) and mental health reasons (14%).

In LinkedIn's web activity, "70% of career break-related searches and 67% of career break-related posts globally came from female members."

Moreover, women are taking longer to re-enter the workforce after taking a break. American women have increased the length of their breaks by 39%, according to the same report.

As well, a 2022 report by ABC News showed that women were struggling to return to work after COVID lockdowns.

"In January [2022], over one million men joined the labor force, compared to 39,000 women," the report reads.

Other data shows that women are more likely than men to apply for remote positions by a factor of around 5%.

"In January 2023, 54.7% of women in the U.S. who applied to jobs on LinkedIn applied to remote jobs, while only 50.3% of men did. ... This percentage difference has been relatively consistent over time since January 2021. In May 2021, these percentages were 26.9% for women and 21.4% for men.

MSNBC asked anchor Stephanie Ruhle to provide career tips for women. Ruhle opted to tell readers that "authenticity is key" and to "be excellent at your job and build your relationships.”

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