Taking Charge: Salary Negotiation

"Know What You're Worth" is the mantra here at PayScale. But in order to earn a paycheck that reflects that number, you have to ask for it. Are women doing that?

Negotiation Stats by Gender

When we asked people if they had ever negotiated for more money or better benefits, there wasn’t a huge difference between the genders. Men were just slightly more likely to negotiate a better salary or benefits.

Have you ever negotiated for higher salary or better benefits? No, neither Yes, higher salary Yes, better benefits Yes, both
Female Respondents 57.0% 30.0% 2.0% 12.0%
Male Respondents 54.0% 30.0% 2.0% 14.0%

The gap widens a bit when we asked people if they had ever explicitly asked for a raise or promotion. Overall, it seems that both genders are more likely to negotiate an offer than to come right out and ask for what they want.

Have you ever asked for raise or promotion? No, neither Yes, a raise Yes, a promotion Yes, both
Female Respondents 42% 32% 7% 19%
Male Respondents 39% 29% 8% 24%

Negotiation Stats by Job Level

Men and women are more likely to ask for what they want as they move forward in their careers. When just starting out in a career, men are more likely to ask for a raise or promotion than women. However, our data shows a shift in this trend as men and women reach Executive levels, with women overshadowing men.

Negotiation Stats by Income

Income can also play a role in seeking a raise or promotion. Women earning less than $25,000 annually are more likely to negotiate than their low-earning male counterparts, but less likely to ask for a promotion or raise outright. As the paychecks get larger, these stats reverse. Women who earn over $100,000 a year are more likely to ask for raises and promotions than men who earn similar amounts, but less likely to negotiate.

Job Type and Negotiation

Job type can also affect the likelihood of seeking a raise or promotion. Which jobs showed the biggest differences in the percentages of men and women who reported negotiating their salary or benefits package?

5 Jobs Where Women Are More Likely to Negotiate Salary and Benefits than Men

For the most part, women working in female-dominated jobs negotiate more often. The interesting exceptions are female Engineering Managers, who negotiate more often than their male counterparts, even though 90 percent of Engineering Managers are males. On the other extreme, 95 percent of secretaries are female, but only 39 percent of them report negotiating, compared to 55 percent of men in the position.

Job Family % Males Who Negotiate % Females Who Negotiate % Females in Job
Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians 18% 43% 75%
Engineering Managers 57% 76% 10%
Administrative Services Managers 31% 48% 85%
Customer Service Representatives 20% 35% 74%
Social Workers 19% 33% 84%

5 Jobs Where Women Don’t Negotiate Salary and Benefits

Job Family % Males Who Negotiate % Females Who Negotiate % Females in Job
Construction Managers 50% 24% 10%
First-Line Supervisors/Managers, Food Preparation & Serving Workers 66% 43% 32%
Lodging Managers 54% 35% 53%
Industrial Production Managers 52% 35% 22%
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants 55% 39% 95%

Industries Where Women Lean In

Which industries see the most women leaning into their careers and asking for what they want? Not surprisingly, it's the industries where women make up the majority. Unfortunately, these industries generally pay less than the ones where women are less likely to negotiate their salary or benefits.

Top 3 Industries

Industry % Males Who Negotiate % Females Who Negotiate % Females in Job
Health Care and Social Assistance 18% 75% 79%
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing 37% 63% 61%
Educational Services 33% 56% 63%

Bottom 3 Industries

Industry % Males Who Negotiate % Females Who Negotiate % Females in Job
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 75% 35% 32%
Construction 68% 29% 28%
Utilities 66% 35% 28%

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