‘Many women don’t negotiate higher salary’

A new survey finds the majority of women don’t haggle over their salary, with fear of losing benefits such as flexible working in part to blame.



Eighty-two per cent of women never negotiate their pay when applying for jobs, according to new research which shows fears over losing benefits such as flexible working are partly to blame.

The survey of 1,000 women by employment law firm Slater and Gordon found fear of being ‘rude’ or ‘ungrateful’ was a factor which was compounded by concerns that challenging pay could jeopardise benefits, such as maternity leave or flexible working – cited by 21 per cent.

Half of female workers believe they are being underpaid, but nearly three quarters of those (71 percent) say they have not challenged their boss over the issue.

The survey also found that half of women discuss pay issues with colleagues and just over a quarter of these have discovered that their male peers are being paid more for similar or lower ranking roles.

Ruby Dinsmore, employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon,said: “Women, who may not feel as comfortable asking for more money, are disadvantaged by a system which rewards those willing to engage in negotiation.”

Of those who do enter into negotiations, 70 per cent are successful, receiving some or all of the amount requested. Moreover, nearly one in five had secured bonuses or raises for female colleagues and nearly half of all women encourage friends and workmates to ask for more money.

Dinsmore added: “Workplaces must also be geared to spot and support all staff for their achievements.

“There will be many women who will ask for a raise or promotion to reflect their work, while others will not. A good employer must be able to identify and reward men and woman equally for the same or similar role.

“The research also shows us women are worried about risking other benefits like maternity support or flexible working arrangements by asking for more money. This should not be a concern as the issue of pay and other contractual or statutory benefits shouldn’t be connected.”

Meanwhile, the percentage of female partners at financial services partnerships has remained at just 14% for the third year in a row, according to figures from the Financial Conduct Authority. This compares with about a third of boardroom positions at FTSE 100 companies being held by women. Catriona Watt, partner at law firm Fox & Partners, which compiled the figures, said that because most financial services partnerships have few retail customers, pressure for change has been absent. But change will come as more institutional investors take environmental, social and governance issues seriously, Watt adds.


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