Have you ever asked for a pay rise? If the answer is no, rest assured you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey found that a whopping 57% of women have never asked for a pay rise. Men are four times more likely to ask for a raise and are also more likely to get one. More than three in four UK companies still pay women less than they pay men. There is clear evidence that women’s reluctance to talk about money in the workplace may be one of the reasons why the gender pay gap persists. So why are women more reluctant to talk about pay and how do we change this?
Firstly, women – and especially women of colour – are more likely than men to suffer from imposter syndrome and self-doubt. Women need to start believing they deserve a pay rise if they are going to persuade others they deserve one. Secondly, women are often reluctant to talk about money in general. A Fidelity study shows women avoid financial conversations because they feel uncomfortable having them. Thirdly, women often worry they will come across as pushy or difficult if they do ask for a raise.
The situation is even more pronounced for black women. A new study by LSE shows that almost three quarters of black women believed they’re being paid less than their white counterparts and black women are least likely to be amongst the UK’s top earners. Now is the time to change this, to ask for what you deserve, to close the gender pay gap.