- A survey conducted by ResumeBuilder of full-time workers found that 49% of men negotiated their compensation in the last two years compared to 32% of women.
- Women can fight for themselves in the salary negotiation process by doing their research and being confident in their experience and abilities.
- As more states start to require salary ranges to be published, this will help even the playing field between women and men.
The gender pay gap is a very real and very sad reality.
A 2023 report from the Pew Research Center has shown that the gender pay gap has not significantly closed in the past 20 years.
A survey conducted by ResumeBuilder of full-time workers found that 49% of men negotiated their compensation in the last two years compared to 32% of women. Of those who negotiated, 55% of men and 42% of women reported achieving exactly what they wanted.
31% of women and 29% of men considered negotiating but ultimately decided against it, according to the survey. Fear of losing the job or offer, intimidation, and the offer being more than previous earnings were the top reasons for not negotiating. Women in higher-level positions were more likely to say their gender influenced their decision not to negotiate.
The primary reason both genders negotiated was because they felt their current pay or offer did not align with their value. Julia Toothacre, a Resume and Career Strategist with ResumeBuilder, suggested that limiting beliefs and the pandemic might have discouraged women from negotiating. She noted that big career changes, often prompted by the pandemic, can impact confidence in negotiation.
Toothacre suggested strategies for women to gain confidence in negotiation, including outlining their fit for the position, researching the company and average salary, and understanding there is usually room for negotiation.
What can women do in order to ensure they fight for themselves and for their pay?
Women can fight for themselves in the salary negotiation process by doing their research and being confident in their experience and abilities.
“Researching the average salaries for the types of positions you’re seeking will help you understand the range for the position. This can vary from company to company, especially the size of the company, but it’s a good place to start. Confidence in yourself will come from within, but external validation will especially help those who doubt themselves. Seek out friends, mentors, or coaches who can help you identify your core skills, qualities, and experiences so you approach the salary negotiation knowing you’re a good fit. Remember — if you’re negotiating the salary then you’re qualified and they want to hire you,” Toothacre told Allwork.Space.
Why is the responsibility of equal pay womens’ to bear?
Well, it shouldn’t be.
The responsibility of ensuring equal pay is not solely a woman’s to bear, but a societal issue that requires collective action. The idea that women should be the only ones fighting for their right to equal pay suggests a misunderstanding of the issue.
Equal pay is a matter of human rights and economic efficiency. Discrimination based on gender is not just unfair but also hampers productivity and economic growth. Therefore, it’s the responsibility of employers, governments, and society as a whole to ensure equal pay for equal work.
Employers have a key role in implementing non-discriminatory pay practices. They need to ensure that their compensation systems are transparent, objective, and free from bias.
Governments can enact and enforce laws to prohibit pay discrimination. They can also promote equal pay through public policy measures, such as requiring companies to report on pay gaps and penalizing those who do not comply with the law.
Society as a whole, including men, also has a role to play. Everyone can help raise awareness about the pay gap and advocate for equal pay. Men, in particular, can use their influence to support fair pay practices and challenge discriminatory norms.
“In an ideal world, there would be clear salary ranges for all positions, but we aren’t there yet. The responsibility shouldn’t be on a woman to fight for the same pay as a male counterpart. Companies shouldn’t offer women less money than men, but the information available to us says they are. A good HR team will fight for salary equality, and many do. Even with all the discrimination laws out there, people still hold bias and favoritism. Unfortunately, these things historically don’t play in the favor of women. I think we are making progress, but women still have to fight for their pay,” Toothacre told Allwork.Space.
What will the future of work look like for women and their salaries?
On average, women working full time, year round are paid 83.7% of what men are paid. This disparity in earnings makes it harder for women to save money for emergencies or retirement, putting families at risk and harming the economy as a whole. Among younger workers, ages 16–24, women’s median usual weekly earnings are about 8% lower than men’s.
Despite these challenges, women are breaking down gender barriers and expectations for women’s roles in the workplace are changing. More opportunities are being created for women to pursue professions other than traditional ones, and women are increasingly being seen as equals in male-dominated fields.
“As more states start to require salary ranges to be published, I think this will help even the playing field between women and men. Similarly, the younger generations appear to hold less bias around gender and see the need for equality in the workplace. We see this as people are sharing their salaries more with their coworkers. It’s not to say there will never be bias, there will be, but I think we will see it decrease,” Toothacre told Allwork.Space.