Asking for a pay rise can be stressful. Many of us wince at the prospect of talking about money, and placing a value on your workplace contribution can be tricky.

But the idea that women in particular shy away from these tough conversations has been challenged by new research. The report by the Cass Business School and the universities of Warwick and Wisconsin finds women are just as likely as men to ask for a pay rise. It also finds that they are less likely to get one.

The study found that men were 25% more likely than women to get a pay rise when they asked. It also dispelled the myth that women are reluctant to request a salary increase because they worry about their relationships with their managers and colleagues. The study was based on a 2013-14 survey of workplace relations in Australia that records which employees have asked for pay rises.

One of the researchers, Professor Andrew Oswald from the University of Warwick, says the findings support the existence of bias against women in the workplace. “Having seen these findings, I think we have to accept that there is some element of pure discrimination against women,” he told the BBC.

The gender pay gap

The gap between women and men securing a pay rise when they ask for an increase is one factor in the disparity between men and women’s overall remuneration. The 2015 Global Gender Gap Report shows the extent of the pay gap between men and women.

In 2006, men were earning on average $5,000 more than women. By 2015 that gap had doubled to $10,000. The Global Gender Gap Report shows a quarter of a billion women have entered the global workforce since 2006 but they are only earning on average what men did 10 years ago.

Younger workers close the gender gap

This latest study did identify one positive trend. The study found that in workers below the age of 40, there was no difference between women and men when it came to asking for and receiving a pay rise. The researchers concluded that this could lead to a shrinking in the gender pay gap as these younger women progress through their careers.

Have you read?