Finding a Job

Women do ask for pay rises they just have less success

The theory that women get paid less than men because they are not sufficiently pushy in the workplace is not true, a new study suggests.

Women are as likely as men to ask for a pay rise - but are less likely to get one, the research found.

The study, by the Cass Business School and the universities of Warwick and Wisconsin, looked at 4,600 workers.

It found "no support" for the "reticent female" theory, whereby women avoided asking for more money.

For what it claimed was the first time, the study eliminated any impact from part-time workers earning less than their full-time counterparts, by comparing full-time males with full-time females, and part-time males with part-time females.


When like-for-like male and female workers were compared, men were 25% more likely to get a pay rise when they asked, the study found.

The research also concluded there was no evidence for the idea that women were reluctant to ask for a salary increase because they were more wary of upsetting their boss, or deviating from a perceived female stereotype.

When analysing the results, the researchers took into account the size of the employer and the industry, whether the workers were a parent, as well as their qualifications.

The study was based on data from the 2013-14 Australian workplace relations survey. Australia is thought to be the only country to systematically record whether employees had asked for a pay rise, and why they had or had not done so.

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