Report Shows That Underpaid Women Are Less Likely To Ask For A Pay Rise


Lan Nguyen

Marketing Executive

In this article...

    Report Shows That Underpaid Women Are Less Likely To Ask For A Pay Rise

    In this article, we will walk you through realistic analytics from a survey of 1,000 working professionals provided by Ciphr, an HR software provider.  

    Key takeaways: 

    • Women are less likely to ask for pay raises or negotiate their salaries compared to men, even when facing similar financial burdens and dissatisfaction with their income. 

    • The gender "ask gap" contributes to pay inequality, with women often accepting lower salaries due to perceived fairness or lack of confidence in negotiating for higher pay. 

    • Bridging the gender pay gap requires proactive efforts from employers to reduce pay discrepancies and improve representation of women and ethnic minorities in the workforce. 

    Despite being equally burdened by growing living costs, women were less likely than men to request a pay raise this year, according to recent research on the cost-of-living issue's effects on UK employees.  

    Just one in four (26%) women and one in three (36%) males of the 1,000 individuals surveyed by HR software supplier Ciphr last month requested a pay raise. Additionally, it was shown that women were less likely to have requested a cost-of-living bonus (7% vs. 14% of males), a promotion (17% vs. 22%), or additional employee benefits to supplement their pay (11% vs. 16%).  

    Contrarily, female employees are more likely than male employees to claim that they cannot afford to take time off for illness (55% vs. 47%), to feel overburdened by the stress of financial concerns (80% vs. 70%), and to believe that they are not being paid enough (38% vs. 32%).  

    Less than half of the women polled believe that their pay fairly compensates them for the value of their talents and experience to their organization (45%) or for the work they perform in terms of their job duties for their company (44%).  

    Comparatively, 51% of the males polled felt that they were being sufficiently compensated for their work, and 49% of them agreed that their wage reflected their current job and responsibilities.  

    Although there is only a slight variation between how men and women view their pay, the actions people take in response to these assumptions regarding their compensation expectations are very different. Nearly half (48%) of the males who are dissatisfied with their income have recently asked for a raise because, in their opinion, it does not reflect their talents, job knowledge, or position. Only a third (32%) of women who share this sentiment have gone forward and requested a pay raise.  

    Even men who are unsure of whether they are being paid fairly are statistically more likely to request a pay increase than women who are aware of their dissatisfaction with their pay (38% vs 32%). This gender "ask gap"—in which women request or anticipate lower salaries than comparable men—could be a contributing factor to the existing pay gaps at many organizations.  

    Ciphr research shows that asking for a salary increase is generally more rewarding for those who push for higher earnings. However, fewer women have asked for a pay rise recently, suggesting more men may have received a pay rise. This could lead to disproportionately more women being negatively affected by the cost-of-living crisis, as their wages fall in real terms compared to inflation.  

    The UK's Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey shows a significant pay gap between the average man and the average woman. In the first quarter of 2023, the mean gross pay for full-time male employees was £801 a week, while full-time female employees were paid nearly £140 less. This results in a 16% gender pay gap, with women earning 84p for every pound earned by a man. The gap is lower than in 2022 but still lags men's hourly pay in nearly every industry, with women working in the private sector facing a bigger pay gap than those in the public sector.  

    Actions are required to close that gap  

    The salary 'ask gap' contributes to pay inequality, as women often accept lower salaries due to perceived fairness or lack of confidence in asking for a raise. This results in employees being paid a lower market rate than they deserve, negatively impacting both themselves and their employers. The gender pay gap remains wide in many industries, and employers must be held accountable for reducing discrepancies. Better representation of women and ethnic minorities is crucial for achieving pay equality and attracting and retaining top employees.