Women Are Less Likely Than Men to Ask for a Raise

Women have traditionally lagged behind men when it comes to salaries and promotions. A 2021 Payscale report notes that women are earning 82 cents to the dollar compared to men. And the pandemic has only exacerbated this discrepancy. A new report from Glassdoor and the Harris Poll notes that women are 19% less likely than men to ask for more cash.  

Fewer women asking for their true worth only further increases the wage gap between the sexes, leaving many women unable to amass wealth or pay off debt. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we’ll discuss how COVID-19 has further disrupted an already uneven playing ground when it comes to negotiating money, and tips for women to help them succeed in raise negotiations.  

The pandemic effect on raises 

The pandemic and its resulting mass layoffs made many workers fear that they would lose their jobs. The survey shows that 65% of employees didn’t ask for a raise for fear of rocking the boat. Of those surveyed, 73% of women opted not to speak up compared with only 58% of men.  

The ‘Great Resignation’ and mo’ money 

Fortunately, the tides are turning for employees. Dubbed the “Great Resignation,” it has become a workers’ market, with companies scrambling to retain their employees. Still, the survey notes that, in the next 12 months, 48% of employed women plan to ask for a raise, compared with 59% of men.  

Looks like fewer women leaned in (gag) to more money during the pandemic, and the inequality is projected to continue. So, what can women do to break the raise cycle?  

4 raise negotiation tips for women

1. Don’t apologize 

Don’t couch your request with words like “sorry” and “I know money is tight right now.” You’re asking for your true worth, not a deeply inconvenient personal favor.  

2. Inquire about raises early 

Asking about the compensation review process can help eliminate any guesswork on your part. For example, how frequently do reviews happen? Are they merit-based? Or tied to promotions? Knowing the details can help you feel more comfortable when it’s time to ask.  

3. Understand the market  

Research the current going rate for your position, experience level, and geographic location. Recruiters and salary comparison sites can help you see how others in similar positions are paid and how you stack up. 

4. Present your value 

Come prepared to show your value and what you bring to the table. For example, do you have any hard numbers on how an initiative you spearheaded helped boost your company’s bottom line? The more you can prove your worth, the more likely it is that you’ll get the money you deserve.  

Bottom line: Ask for the raise

Asking for a raise can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s the only way to earn that extra cash. If you communicate effectively, understand how the review process works, understand the market, and demonstrate your worth, you’ll be on your way to bringing home that rightly deserved bacon.