New study suggests women are as pushy with pay rises as men

A new study has revealed that women are just as pushy as their male counterparts when it comes to asking for pay rises, but are less likely to be given one…

Research from Cass Business School and the universities of Warwick and Wisconsin has debunked the theory that women are paid less because they do not push for pay increases.

According to the study, which comprised of 4,600 workers, women are as likely as men to seek a pay rise, but are less likely to receive one.

The study eliminated the impact of part-time workers earning less than their full-time counterparts by comparing full-time and part-time workers separately. The study also took into account the size of the employer, the industry, qualifications and if the employee had children.

This revealed that men were 25 per cent more likely to get a pay rise when requested. Furthermore, there was no evidence that women were more reluctant than their male counterparts to ask for a pay increase.

The researchers used data from the 2013-14 Australian workplace relations survey. The nation is thought to be the only country that systematically records whether employees asked for more money.

University of Warwick’s professor of economics and behavioural science Andrew Oswald said: “The fact that women don’t ask for pay rises as often as men is a popular theory.

“It’s a very common thing for women to say and believe, but all of the evidence is anecdotal, so it’s very hard scientifically to do a proper test of this.”

Oswald said it could be a case of men who asked for a pay rise and were denied kept this information to themselves, while women “were more straightforward and tell their friends”.

Oswald added: “Having seen these findings, I think we have to accept that there is some element of pure discrimination against women.

“It could be that Australia is odd. But it’s a modern industrial economy halfway in character between Britain and the US, so I think that’s unlikely.”

The study found women and men under 40 asked and received a pay rise at the same rate. The researchers said this could signal a change in the way workers negotiate.

Co-author of the study, Dr Amanda Goodall, of Cass Business School said: “The study potentially has an upside.

“Young women today are negotiating their pay and conditions more successfully than older females, and perhaps that will continue as they become more senior.”


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