According to a recent survey on recruitment and retention, just over half of the male respondents said they would negotiate with an employer on a job offer, compared to just four in ten women.

The survey, by job recruitment site CV-Library, also found that only four in ten women felt comfortable asking for a pay rise, compared to six in ten men. The study also revealed other discrepancies between them.

For instance, it found that:  

  • Men were more likely to negotiate their salary (83.1 per cent) than women were (73.1 per cent) 
  • Women were less concerned about job titles than men, with almost a third (29.5 per cent) of men saying that their job title was the most important part of a job offer, compared to a quarter (22.9 per cent) of women 
  • 6 per cent of women said location was a main factor that they looked for in a job description, compared to 83.4 per cent of men.  

As the survey authors point out, these discrepancies have serious consequences, not least the gender pay gap. In fact, over half the women in the survey (55.1 per cent) admitted that they had never negotiated on their salary, compared to one in four men.

This, in turn, seems to have impacted on the size of the pay increases that women received last year. Over half (51.3 per cent) of women were most likely to get a pay rise of up to 2 per cent, compared to 29.8 per cent of men. Worryingly, men were consistently more likely to get a 3-5 per cent increase or more. 

The recruitment site therefore recommends that employers take the following steps to ensure equal pay:

  • Encourage salary negotiation by showing salary ranges 
  • Use structured interviews for recruitment and promotions  
  • Include multiple women in shortlists for recruitment and promotions 
  • Be transparent about pay, promotion and rewards 
  • Appoint diversity managers  
  • Introduce unconscious bias training
  • Conduct performance self-assessments

Neil Todd of Thompsons Solicitors commented: "The finding of this survey reveal that having transparent pay, promotion and reward systems in place are vital in addressing the inequalities faced by some women who feel less able to negotiate with their employer over their pay. As the report makes clear, the current situation is having a direct impact on the gender pay gap. Since 2018 private and voluntary sector employers with 250 or more employees are required to publish gender pay gap figures every year on 4 April.

"This year’s figures reveal that there has hardly been any change to the gender pay gap. Next year is the 50th anniversary since the Equal Pay Act, urgent reform is necessary which requires employers to set out a clear action plan to address the gender pay gap."