Across 25 industries, pharma staffers most satisfied with compensation: analysis

2023 was riddled with labor strikes across industries as workers lobbied for higher pay amid economic headwinds that shook up the global economy. As for the biopharma industry, employees are more content with their income compared with workers in other fields, a new report suggests.

USA Today recently analyzed more than 3 million reviews on the employee review service Glassdoor, focusing on 500 large companies in 25 industries and seeking to identify the industries with the highest number of pay-related complaints. Employees in the pharma and biotechnology sector reported the fewest number of pay complaints, according to the report.

On the flip side, the healthcare field took the second-highest position for pay frustration, second only to education.

Some drugmakers in particular rose above their peers and others in terms of pay.

Novartis, GSK, AstraZeneca and Genentech made the list of the top-10 companies overall where employees are most satisfied with their compensation. The companies took the fourth, seventh, ninth and tenth spots, respectively, with Novartis coming below only Google, In-N-Out Burger and Meta.  

Pay frustration was only mentioned 0.037 times per Novartis employee review, a figure that falls 73% below the average. At GSK, AZ and Genentech, the frequency of pay complaints came in 69%, 68% and 67% the average level.

While compensation satisfaction plays a significant part in overall workplace contentment, the report shows that the two rankings can differ. For example, employees in the biopharma industry are the third-most likely to be satisfied with their organization, trailing only the education and construction fields.

Interestingly, the rankings clash somewhat with a May report from workplace culture expert O.C. Tanner Institute. In that survey, 48% of pharma employees reported finding their work exhausting, with 30% feeling emotionally frustrated. O.C. Tanner was evaluating levels of potential burnout across industries.