About the survey and the women who took part

As part of this research we wanted to understand the attitudes, behaviours and empowerment levels of workers across the world. The respondents were obtained through paid research by an external panel provider targeting a representative global sample, by age, gender and region. 

52,195 people across 44 territories completed the survey, 21,990 (42%) of whom were women. The respondents represent workers working in 26 different industry sectors. Of the women who responded 11% were Gen Z (age 18-25), 49% were Millennials (age 26-41), 29% were Generation X (age 42-57), and the final 11% were Baby Boomers (age 58-78). Seven percent were CEO or equivalent level, 12% of women were senior executive level, 23% were managers, and 59% were working at non-management job levels. 

As part of this research, we wanted to know whether people felt empowered—or disempowered—at work. We looked at four well-understood dimensions of empowerment drawn from academic research: autonomy; impact; meaning and belonging; and confidence and competence. By surveying workers on these dimensions (through a total of 12 questions) we then calculated the degree to which the dimensions were both important to people and present in their work lives. 

We then used the scores of these questions to understand the impact of empowerment using the following methodology.

Statement scores: We coded each statement and then multiplied the agreement scores by the importance scores

Dimension scores: We mapped the statements to four workforce empowerment dimensions (autonomy; impact; meaning and belonging; and confidence/competence) and averaged the score statements within a given dimension to calculate overall dimension scores

Empowerment scores: We averaged the four dimension scores to create a single empowerment score

Men were found to be significantly more empowered than women, with an average empowerment score of 53.53, compared to 50.32 for women. 

To identify the most empowered workers we divided the empowerment scores into quartiles classifying the top quartile as the most empowered workers. Women respondents required an empowerment score of 64.7 to be classified in the top quartile. 

Contact us

Aoife Flood

Aoife Flood

Senior Manager, Global Inclusion and Diversity, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tuneet Bahi

Tuneet Bahi

Manager, Global Inclusion and Diversity, PwC United Kingdom

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