Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk

Gender ‘ask gap’ likely to create cost of living crisis for women

Only 41% of women negotiate salaries for new roles, research reveals

Only 41% of women negotiate their starting salaries for new roles, compared to 61% of men, leaving women at a greater risk of a cost-of-living crisis. This is the finding from new research commissioned by Reed.co.uk.

The study also found that 27% of women are uncomfortable discussing their salary with employers. In comparison, only 13% of men felt the same. Yet, 90% of employees who did negotiate their most recent salary said that they were successful in receiving an increase.

The research among 250 hiring managers and 2,000 job seekers indicated that 51% of people have never negotiated wages for a new job. The ‘ask gap’ is obvious in these statistics, too, with 59% of women saying they had never negotiated salaries when offered new roles, compared to 39% of men.

When it comes down to the money, the most common salary increase in salary was between £1,000-£2,499 (42%). A further 27% received a raise of between £2,500-£4,999. Of these numbers, 42% of men were more likely to secure these pay increases than 31% of women.

The research indicates that salary negotiation is a sought-after skill. Seventy percent of workers agree that salary negotiation should be taught in school. Minority workers particularly value education on the subject, with 74% of women stating that salary negotiation should be taught in school, compared to 65% of men. Similar results were seen with:

  • 78% of LGBTQ+ vs. 70% of straight respondents
  • 83% of BAME vs. 77% of white respondents
  • 82% of disabled vs. 69% of non-disabled respondents

In support of this, 77% of employers look upon candidates positively when the candidates negotiate their salaries during the recruitment process.

When looking at age-related responses, the trends relating to salary discussions seem to be changing. Younger employees are much more open to discussing their salary, with 91% of employees aged 18-34 disclosing their earnings to someone, compared to only 26% of older workers (aged between 55-64).

Between partners, 58% of job seekers share salary details, and 44% share their salary with their families.

Simon Wingate, Managing Director of Reed.co.uk, commented: “The latest Reed.co.uk data sheds new light on how the gender ‘ask gap’ is perpetuating unequal pay. While the government has taken important strides through the pay transparency pilot, the research shows that more needs to be done to address the disparity in confidence between men and women when discussing salary.”

“By introducing salary negotiation skills into school education, future generations across society will be able to understand and implement negotiation strategies during the hiring process – and across other life experiences such as purchasing a house or car. This will enable them to secure a higher starting salary and help close existing pay gaps.”

“At a time when the cost-of-living is rising, the study also shows the value in employees pushing their future employers for a salary increase when being offered a new role and confirms that finding a new job is one of the best possible ways to secure a pay rise. Reed.co.uk has a wealth of career advice on the subject of salaries to help people get paid what they’re worth.”

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