Only 3 in 10 Canadian women negotiated for higher pay in 2021

Is there a gender divide when it comes to salary talks?

Only 3 in 10 Canadian women negotiated for higher pay in 2021

Majority of female professionals in Canada didn't try to negotiate a higher salary with their employer, according to a Robert Half report, as women continue to suffer from wage inequality in the workplace.  Only three in 10 women negotiated for a higher salary following their employee's initial offer, said the report, but pointed out that for those who negotiated, 63% of them received a hike in pay.

Data released this week found that full-time and part-time female professionals in 2021 were earning only 89 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.

And these pay inequities do not go unnoticed, according to the Robert Half report, as it indicated that 33% of women found pay inequities in their organisation. In this case, new hires were receiving higher salary offers than current workers employed in the same role.

Having a high salary is one of the most sought-after compensations from an employer even in the past, but the desire for this benefit has become even stronger amid concerns on inflation and rising costs of living.

This is especially true for women, according to the Robert Half report, where 57% cited their top concern at work is their salary not being able to keep up with inflation. 

Read more: Wage gap between CEOs and employees widens

The report's findings on wage negotiations were consistent with Indeed's recent report on wage negotiations released this year.

According to Indeed's research, 68% of women have rarely or never tried to negotiate their salaries, with 45% of them admitting to feeling very or extremely uncomfortable in doing so.

Michelle Slater, director at Indeed, said it is "important to feel empowered to ask for a wage that is reflective of their work and qualifications, especially women and visible minorities, who tend to experience wage gaps."

Slater shared the following tips to help employees in terms of wage negotiations:

  1. Determine value. Be sure to consider education, related experience, skills, licenses/certifications, leadership abilities, and current salary, according to Slater.
  2. Research the market. Slater advised applicants to take time to see what other professionals make in the same or similar positions.
  3. Prepare an outline. Be specific on talking points, according to Slater, and leverage details/numbers related to achievements, experience, and skills.
  4. Practice your conversation. Rehearse the conversation, suggested Slater, as well as try and anticipate the questions that may be asked.
  5. Remain confident. Slater said confidence should be exhibited to show belief in qualifications and abilities.
  6. Stay flexible. A common tactic is to ask for slightly more than what you expect to give room to go back and forth. If wage negotiation is not likely, try going for perks such as additional vacation or a stipend for commute.
  7. Know when to say 'no'. If employer is not flexible with salary or benefits, Slater advised declining the offer and start looking for other jobs. Other considerations before making decision should be its offer on work-life balance, good company culture, and career growth.

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