Women are often told not to be afraid of negotiating to get the salaries they deserve. Although women are in fact asking their bosses for raises, they’re not necessarily receiving the pay bumps.
According to recent research conducted by the University of Warwickin the United Kingdom and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, women ask for pay increases as frequently as men do, but men are 25 percent more likely to actually get the raise.
“Having seen these findings, I think we have to accept that there is some element of pure discrimination against women,” Andrew Oswald, co-author of the study and professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Warwick, said in a statement.
The research was based on data from the 2013-14 Australian Workplace Relations Survey, which included information on whether Australian employees have asked for a pay raise. When professionals at the same level were compared, the men were 25 percent more likely to be successful, obtaining a pay increase 20 percent of the time. Only 16 percent of women were successful when they asked for raises, the study said.
According to data from PayScale, a compensation analyzation company, there’s not a huge difference between the genders when it comes to asking for or receiving a raise, but when you drill down by education, industry, etc., “that’s where it gets interesting,” said Lydia Frank, senior director of editorial and marketing at PayScale.
“Women holding an MBA degree seem to be struggling most with potential gender bias when it comes to salary negotiation,” Frank said. “Of those who asked for a raise, only 48 percent of female MBA grads received the requested raise compared to 63 percent of male MBA grads. And 21 percent of female college grads received no raise at all after requesting one, compared to 10 percent of male grads.”
Frank noted that for workers who said they hadn’t asked for a raise, women were more likely than men to say they were uncomfortable negotiating (31 percent versus 23 percent). Men were more likely than women to say they received a raise before they had to ask for one (40 percent versus 36 percent).
Despite the overall findings, the authors discovered a positive sign in the data: Young Australian female employees get pay hikes just as often as young Australian men do.
“This study potentially has an upside: Young women [in Australia] today are negotiating their pay and conditions more successfully than older females,” Amanda Goodall, co-author of the new study and an associate professor at Cass Business School in London, said. “Perhaps that will continue as they become more senior.”
Researchers looked at data from a random sample of 4,600 workers across more than 800 Australian employers for the study.