Long reads

Why are fewer women negotiating pay raises?

Aoibhinn Mc Bride

Aoibhinn Mc Bride

Content Editor, Jobbio

 From the number of men holding senior leadership positions to women avoiding certain male-dominated industries, gender inequality within the workplace is a multifaceted issue.

One area where it remains particularly prevalent is pay negotiations––or lack thereof––if a recent study into the salary negotiation habits of workers in the UK and Ireland is anything to go by.

According to the report, there is a 5% decline in the number of women who negotiated for better pay this year. Additionally, a quarter of the female workforce did not receive a pay rise following a negotiation, compared to just 10% of men.

Conversely, more men expect higher salaries for the jobs they are doing, anticipate an easier negotiation around salary, and believe themselves to be less emotional when it comes to discussing their pay.

This trend also trickles into promotions, with double the number of women not receiving promotions within one to three years, and 60% of women who have been with the same company for three-plus years not being offered a promotion.

The research also highlighted that a third of women are not informed of what they need to do to achieve a promotion, while a third of men already have specific targets in place with their manager.

Tactical errors

How can women tackle this problem head-on? For starters, you need to advocate for yourself and initiate the conversation with your manager, focussing on your value and worth and giving tangible examples of both.

Don’t take, “we’ve had a bad quarter” or “there’s a hiring freeze” for an answer. Most large organisations make provisions for an incremental wage increase, and a raise will have been factored into your compensation from the get go.

“All companies will have a salary band so they will conduct a peer review, and hire you at a salary where they have the bandwidth to increase at a salary review,” says Owen Murray, a former tech recruiter who now provides bespoke interview preparation strategies.

However, sometimes the only way to guarantee a pay rise is to move jobs and if you are at the compensation negotiations stage, being clear and concise should be your number one negotiation strategy.

“My advice would be to counteroffer no more than once,” Murray adds. “Try to make the conversation as straightforward as possible and take the entire package into consideration, such as the role, possible progression, benefits, stock, number of days holiday, etc.”

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