The New Demographics

The Great Resignation Continues

Women seek new jobs with higher income to compensate for financial setbacks caused by Covid

A new survey from Laurel Road reveals that women plan to ask for a raise in 2022 (54%) or leave current job for higher pay (68%).

NEW YORK, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Two years after the Covid pandemic first disrupted daily life in the United States, women are continuing to see a significant impact on their lives, particularly via financial barriers and workplace hurdles. According to a new survey released today by Laurel Road, a digital banking platform of KeyBank with specialized offerings for healthcare and business professionals, women continue to leave the workforce, perceive themselves to be underpaid or financially disadvantaged, and struggle with mental health burdens related to work-life balance in higher proportions than men. Yet, many women are making career moves to make up for lost ground in 2022 and either plan to ask for a raise or are willing to switch jobs for the pay they feel they’ve earned.

The fifth-annual survey from Laurel Road exploring financial literacy and management among 1,000 U.S. college-educated adults, found that of those women who lost annual income in 2021, the average percentage was 41%, up from 33% in 2020, and BIPOC women lost even more – an average of 47% of their annual income. As well, almost three-quarters (73%) of women still felt they have been disproportionately impacted by events related to COVID-19, a decrease of only 4 percentage points from 2020. BIPOC women are even more likely to agree (84%), a decrease of only 1 percentage point from 2020.

In addition, nearly 7 in 10 (69%) employed, college-educated women felt they were underpaid with respect to their current value to their company, significantly higher than the 53% of employed college educated men who said the same. What’s encouraging is that women are looking to make up for lost ground: 54% of women – and 59% of BIPOC women – stated they think they will ask for a raise in 2022.

“Although women disproportionately faced setbacks from the pandemic, whether it be delaying their own professional growth because of childcare responsibilities or experiencing a greater loss of income, our study found that they’re also seeking new careers or preparing to ask for a raise to elevate their financial future,” said Alyssa Schaefer, General Manager & Chief Experience Officer at Laurel Road. “Our hope is that these findings institute change by serving as a conversation starter on the challenges women face as a result of the pandemic, both at home and in the workplace, while also providing women the tools they need to continue to feel empowered to achieve mental wealth, encouraging generations to come.”

The Great Resignation Continues

Women are quitting their jobs at higher rates than men as the coined Great Resignation continues to sweep the U.S. In fact, 34% of women and 35% of all surveyed BIPOC women reported leaving their jobs in 2021, compared to 30% of men. Only 10% of women reported doing so involuntarily.

And women continue to explore ways to change their employment situations, with nearly 1 in 3 (31%) female respondents noting that it was at least somewhat likely they’d leave their current job in the next year, including 43% of BIPOC women. When asked what would inspire them to leave their current job for another, women stated higher pay (68%), remote work (34%), a better work-life balance (34%) and better management (21%) as the top reasons.

Women, Especially Women of Color, Feel Employers Can Still Do More to Narrow Pay Gap

The survey showed that 44% of women do not feel their employers have been successful in narrowing the pay gap, with almost half (48%) of BIPOC women agreeing that their company isn’t doing all it can to lessen the gender pay gap.

Our hope is that these findings institute change by serving as a conversation starter on the challenges women face as a result of the pandemic, both at home and in the workplace, while also providing women the tools they need to continue to feel empowered to achieve mental wealth, encouraging generations to come...

Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop with just a paycheck. The survey found 42% of women feel that women at their company are less financially empowered than men overall, with 49% of BIPOC women indicating they feel this way.

Childcare Impacts Respondents Across the Board

When asked about navigating work and childcare responsibilities, 51% of dads reported they feel childcare responsibilities during COVID-19 impacted their ability to work in one way or another, while only 46% of moms felt the same. Interestingly, this reflects a significant decrease for men from 2021, when 72% of dads indicated childcare responsibilities had impacted their work in the last year. There was a slight increase for women from 2021, when 42% of moms reported feeling the impact of childcare at work last year.

The top impact of childcare responsibilities for women (23%) has been delaying their own professional growth because of childcare responsibilities, while men report that they’ve felt the impact on both their professional growth (19%) and the need to reduce work hours (19%) equally.

When it comes to what they’re looking for in an employer, 27% of dads and 31% of moms reported that they are more likely to pick a job based on an employer’s support for them as a caregiver or parent.

Women Are Assessing Financial Goals to Make Money Moves

As the pandemic wears on, more than 3 in 4 (76%) women reported feeling like they are behind schedule when it comes to financial security goals, compared to 73% who felt they were behind in 2021. When asked in which ways they felt behind, women identified retirement savings (50%), investments (32%) and salary (24%) as the goals they are most behind on.

To discuss these issues further and bring to light ways women can achieve financial empowerment, Laurel Road will be bringing together personal finance and mental health experts for The Luminary event on March 10. Follow Laurel Road on Instagram for further updates.




This survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative college educated US adults, with oversamples to 1,000 female respondents and 500 female BIPOC respondents, between February 7th and February 15th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of 1,000 nationally representative U.S. college-educated adults. The margin of error was +/-3.1% for the main sample and female oversample and +/-4.4% for the 500 female BIPOC oversample.
About Laurel Road
Laurel Road is a digital banking platform and brand of KeyBank that provides tailored offerings to support the financial wellbeing of healthcare and business professionals. Laurel Road’s banking and lending solutions, including Laurel Road CheckingSM and savings accounts, Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback® Card, Student Loan Refinancing, Mortgages, Personal Loans and more, provide our members with a simplified, personalized experience that helps them better navigate their financial journey and achieve life’s goals. Additionally, Laurel Road has reimagined banking and financial management for physicians and dentists through Laurel Road for Doctors, a tailored digital experience made up of banking, insights and exclusive benefits to provide the financial help and peace of mind they need through each career stage. Since 2013, Laurel Road has helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $9 billion in federal and private school loans. For more information, visit Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association. All products offered by KeyBank N.A. Member FDIC. NMLS # 399797. Equal Housing Lender. © 2021 KeyCorp® All Rights Reserved. Laurel Road is a federally registered service mark of KeyCorp.
About KeyCorp
KeyCorp’s (NYSE: KEY) roots trace back 190 years to Albany, New York. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Key is one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $170.3 billion at December 31, 2020. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management, and investment services to individuals and businesses in 15 states under the name KeyBank National Association through a network of more than 1,000 branches and approximately 1,400 ATMs. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name. For more information, visit