Questions of equity and attitudes
While recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows women’s labor participation is on the rise, the gender wage gap continues to be a top concern for many female professionals. Recent White House data shows the average woman working full-time, year-round, for wages or a salary earned 83 cents for every dollar paid to their average male counterpart.
A recent Robert Half survey of 1,450 working women looked at women’s top concerns and priorities in today’s workforce. The survey found that female professionals:
- Fail to negotiate: Only 1 in 3 tried to negotiate for a higher salary with their current employer following the initial offer; however, of those, 67% received a bump in pay.
- Grapple with wage gaps: Thirty-nine percent have noticed pay inequities in their organization, where new hires are being offered higher salaries than current employees in the same role.
- Worry about raises: Fifty percent cited their top concern at work is their salary not keeping up with inflation.
In a similar survey conducted by the talent solutions and business consulting firm, a majority of female respondents said they seek the following from their employers:
- More pay: Sixty-five percent would leave their current job for one with a significant salary bump.
- Promotions: Sixty percent want a promotion as the next step in their career.
Knowing One’s Worth
Negotiation is key to the hiring process and overall salary growth. Job seekers should be prepared to negotiate salary with prospective employers, especially in the current competitive hiring market — and that includes job seekers knowing their worth. What is the market rate for their position in their area? Are they remote employees where the cost-of-living needs added consideration? What are other companies offering employees in the job seeker’s city or province in terms of salary, benefits and perks?
To effectively negotiate salary, candidates can gain knowledge about current compensation trends in their industry by referencing reliable sources, such as the 2023 Robert Half Salary Guide, which offers the salaries for hundreds of positions and experience levels in a given market.
Beyond paying competitively, employers must foster a work environment that is inclusive for all employees. Growth opportunities, organizational culture and flexibility play a role in supporting a company’s top talent. Employers can partner with female workers to define their long-term objectives and provide challenging assignments and skill-building opportunities that will help them reach their goals without leaving the company.
View from the Workforce
Does your current employer give you opportunities to build your leadership?
Do you feel you are underpaid?
Thinking of your last job offer, did you try to negotiate for higher pay?
Did you get a higher salary after negotiating?
What is your top concern as it pertains to your job?
|Salary not keeping up with inflation||47%||43%||50%||56%|
|Being laid off||8%||8%||9%||6%|
|High levels of stress||20%||20%||19%||19%|
|Building my professional network||6%||8%||5%||4%|
|Balancing professional and personal obligations||16%||19%||15%||11%|
Source: Robert Half survey May 30, 2022
Jamie Sabia is Phoenix-based market director for global talent solutions and business consulting firm Robert Half.