Women’s Equality Day: A Look At Women in The Workplace in 2017

August 28, 2017

There has been a lot of discussion about gender diversity in the workplace, more specifically about where gender gaps continue to persist and how we can solve this challenge. Overall, the workforce in the United States sees an equal representation of gender, but data shows there is a disparity in the jobs women are hired for, and the associated compensation.

We realize there are many factors that contribute to gender biases beyond what the data shows and how critical it is that we are all mindful of these factors as these biases can be powerful limitations to equality. To help shine a light on where some of these discrepancies exist, we took a look at LinkedIn’s member data:

Women tend to promote themselves — and their successes — less

Men tend to include more information, tout their skills more aggressively, and have larger networks on LinkedIn than their female counterparts.

  • When looking at LinkedIn member data, we found men tend to skew their professional brands to highlight more senior-level experience, often removing junior-level roles altogether.
  • Women are more likely to have shorter profile summaries.
  • In the U.S., women on average include 11% less skills than men on their LinkedIn profile, even at similar occupations and experience levels.

Adding your location, additional skills and a robust summary to your LinkedIn profile will help you be found for more opportunities. On average, LinkedIn members with five or more skills receive up to 17X more profile views. You can also brush up on all of the top skills held by leaders, such as management and strategic planning, using LinkedIn Learning. We have also created learning paths and courses to help you gain expertise on the most common skills among women in leadership positions.  

Differences emerge in the roles men and women are applying for

It may not come as a surprise that men and women are pursuing different types of careers. Over the past 12 months, LinkedIn member data shows women have applied for more roles in administrative, marketing, customer service, and human resource functions. On the other hand, among the top 10 most-applied-for roles for men and women, four of these jobs were the same: software engineer, project manager, business analyst, and account manager.

Top 10 Most Applied-For Roles: Women

  1. Administrative/Executive Assistant
  2. Project Manager
  3. Account Manager
  4. Customer Service Representative
  5. Business Analyst
  6. Marketing Manager
  7. Software Engineer
  8. Human Resources Generalist
  9. Marketing Coordinator
  10. Program Manager

Top 10 Most Applied-For Roles: Men

  1. Software Engineer
  2. Project Manager
  3. Business Analyst
  4. Account Manager
  5. Sales Representative
  6. Operations Manager
  7. Financial Analyst
  8. Program Manager
  9. Product Manager
  10. Data Analyst

Even more, there are jobs across industries and functions where closer gender parity exists in the hiring rate of men and women, including: program coordinator, quality assurance engineer, and research assistant, all of which see less than a 5% gender gap.

Women are underrepresented in leadership roles and in highest paying industries, but this is changing

Beyond the roles they are applying for, women are heavily underrepresented within leadership roles and among jobs in the highest paying industries in the United States, indicating that women are not always given the same opportunities to grow in their careers and maximize their earning potential.  

However, our member data shows this is changing. In the U.S., we saw an 8% change in women being hired into leadership positions between 2008 and 2016, especially within the education and nonprofit sectors.

  • Graph

What this means for the larger U.S. economy

For decades, females have been overrepresented in the U.S. workforce for certain job roles, such as teaching, while being underrepresented in other more male-oriented jobs, such as construction (a phenomenon known as “occupational segregation”).

There is a lot of debate about why this is the case, but the economic effects are clear: as occupations become more segregated by gender, female wages depress, the gender pay gap widens, and the economy becomes inefficient due to the lack of gender equality to opportunity.

While we are making strides to encourage more women to enter traditionally male-dominated fields, there is still work to be done. One of the key aspects to closing the gender gap is to identify where we have made progress, tackle challenges to continue closing the hiring gap, and provide more opportunities for women.


This report was created using LinkedIn member profile data for members in the United States over the past 12 months.