Female salespeople have seen an 8% decrease in financial incentives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to only a 1% decrease for men, according to a CRM platform HubSpot’s latest research.
Despite this shocking statistic, HubSpot’s Sales Enablement Survey: UK Changing Culture report, which explores how business cultures and approaches to working have adapted since the start of the pandemic, found the effect of remote working on workplace culture has generally improved attitudes towards gender equality and women in the workplace.
36% of organisations are now working fully remotely, compared to just 22% before COVID-19, highlighting a 14% increased shift towards remote working. In terms of sales teams, just 23% are fully in the office, compared to 32% before the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, two thirds (66%) of respondents reported that their workplace culture has changed due to the adoption of remote working.
59% of respondents agree that their working environment has become less competitive and more collaborative, which has had a positive impact on gender equality in their workplace. Additionally, over three quarters (76%) of respondents feel that the new changes have made it easier for colleagues to balance work with family or personal life requirements.
A significant 78% of respondents feel the greater flexibility available at work has made it easier for working mums or carers to take on job roles that they would have previously been unable to commit to and 76% feel that the new changes have made it easier for colleagues to balance work with family or personal life requirements.
Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot, said: “Access to a career in tech shouldn’t be determined by your zip code. A greater embrace for remote work can help to redistribute economic opportunity and build more diverse and equitable workforces. As we build a hybrid company at HubSpot, we’re excited about the possibilities remote work opens up for talented individuals who may not have had the option to pursue a job they love from where they are.”
The changes brought about by remote working have not been well received by everyone. Despite the positive changes on work-life balance, especially for female colleagues, only 14% believe that the changes have made work feel more inclusive. Additionally, 42% of salespeople reported that the culture change has left people feeling isolated, with 12% feeling that their company culture has significantly eroded.
What’s more, the pandemic has exacerbated inequity in how male and female sales representatives are being incentivised. Before the pandemic, women were 16% less likely to be offered financial bonuses compared to male colleagues. Instead, 23% of female employees were incentivised with vouchers compared to just 8% of their male colleagues. Women were also twice as likely to be offered a holiday compared to men. The percentage of women offered financial bonuses has dropped from 41% to 33% since the beginning of the pandemic, while the percentage has only dropped 1% for men, down to 56%.
Ed Barrett, VP of Sales, EMEA at HubSpot, commented:“It is striking that while a majority of salespeople recognise that their female colleagues are taking on more responsibility and performing at a very high level, something only heightened by rolling lockdowns, this is still not translating into appropriate rewards and incentives for women. The pandemic has exacerbated, in some scenarios, existing imbalances across sales teams in the UK, and while the focus for team leaders will be on hitting targets and trying to grow, issues around gender equality cannot fall by the wayside. While the working environment is getting better for families, female salespeople are still missing out.”