Gender differences in the EMC Index

October 25, 2023

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In the most recent issue of Today at Work, we introduced the Employee Motivation and Commitment Index, a measure designed to help organizations better understand employee behavior.

As we analyzed the monthly sentiment data that make up the EMC Index, we saw that men consistently have an edge over women when it comes to high motivation and commitment, especially during the prime working ages of 20 to 54.

When we drilled deeper, we noticed several things about high motivation and commitment. For instance, as a person rises through the ranks at an organization, there’s a greater likelihood that they’ll have a high MC level. Likewise, people with longer tenures at an organization are more likely to score high MC levels. (There’s an exception to this trend that occurs at year eight and beyond. We’re exploring the data and will report back with any findings.)

In this post, we’ll focus on the motivation and commitment differences between men and women. Across prime working-age groups, we found that men tend to experience higher motivation and commitment in the workplace than women.

To learn more about this gender gap, we used multiple variables to compare men and women by managerial level, age, and tenure.

Managerial level

As one rises through the ranks of an organization, the share of employees with high MC increases significantly. At the individual contributor level, gender differences are minimal. But looking through the lens of management, the differences between men and women increase as the level of seniority increases.


Age, too, is a confounding variable. Even when controlling for managerial rank, women score lower on motivation and commitment at all age levels.


Then there’s tenure. Motivation and commitment generally increase with an employee’s tenure, a trend that reverses only among survey respondents with the longest tenure. The pattern holds across genders, but men maintain an edge over women until they reach age 55.

To sum things up: Gender differences in motivation and commitment persist across age, managerial level, and tenure. Men have an edge across all the variables we studied. 

Stay tuned to the ADPRI Data Lab as we continue to explore and understand the variables at play in our Employee Motivation and Commitment Index.