Seven in 10 Women Feel Anxious About Negotiating Pay, Study Finds

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When negotiating pay, a certain level of confidence is required. Recent data from pay software company Syndio found that there is a “Confidence Gap” between women and men in employment. The data found was used to reveal the persisting issue of pay equity between genders. Through this study, they have found that salary transparency is necessary to achieve true equity in workplace cultures.

Numbers provided by the UK Office for National Statistics (ONS) in April 2022 stated that the gender pay gap was at 8.3%. According to the ONS numbers, the gender pay gap also varies between groups aged 40 and above and below 40.

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Negotiating Pay: Syndio Report on the Confidence Gap

The main takeaway from the report by Syndio is that men are more confident than women in asserting their pay. This directly affects pay as well as the gender pay gap.

When negotiating pay, the top three feelings that women have are feeling of rejection (25%), lack of confidence (23%) and concern about damaging their careers (21%). While for men, the top three feelings are confident ones. The top ones for men being well prepared and knowing their worth, confident that the negotiation will not affect their careers and that it will improve how they are perceived – which are all admitted by 16% of men.

Further, the survey found that even women in senior and experienced roles are not empowered. In higher earners, men are more likely to be confident about negotiating but women are still concerned about negotiating. In women over 45, the main feeling that comes with negotiation is the lack of confidence. This can suggest that women are still undervalued and not yet empowered even in higher positions.

Pay transparency is cited to address this issue, but it also needs to be included with the awareness of employers to acknowledge the persisting imbalance that will require proactive measures to eradicate the gender pay gap as well as the confidence gap.

Addressing the Gender Pay Gap

The UK Government has introduced measures to improve the situation, including its data base and action plans to close the gender pay gap.

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Additionally, they have also mentioned effective ways to close the gender pay gap which are included below.

  • Including women in recruitment and promotions
  • Recruiting based on skills through skills assessments
  • Conducting structured interviews for recruitment and promotions
  • Encouraging salary negotiations and showing salary ranges
  • Being transparent on promotion, pay and rewards
  • Having DEI task forces

Ultimately, when there is an existing imbalance between the genders, employers should identify the issue and encourage open and transparent communication. Achieving gender equity in the workplace must begin by acknowledging the existing workplace culture that may have put women at a disadvantage.

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