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Gender pay rise gap revealed

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Written by: Emma Lunn
06/12/2021
Men are both more inclined to ask for a pay rise, and to receive a larger sum when it is granted, according to research by Fidelity International.

The investment company found that men typically receive £733 more than women for each pay rise they are given, seeing an average uplift of £2,017 compared to the average £1,284 rise achieved by women.

The research, based upon a poll of 3,000 UK adults, found that half (50%) of men in the UK have asked for a pay rise within their working lifetime, compared to 37% of women. A quarter (25%) of men had asked for multiple rises, compared to 12% of women.

Fidelity’s findings revealed that along with pay rises, men (43%) are also more likely to have asked for a promotion at some point during their career, compared to women (30%), another route to securing higher earnings.

Women said the main reason they are deterred from asking for a pay rise is because they don’t feel brave enough (36%), while a quarter (25%) are worried their request will be declined. However, one in seven (14%) say their reluctance to ask for a pay rise is their biggest professional regret.

Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity International, said: “Women have to mind many financial gaps in their life; the gender pay gap, the gender pension gap and now, the gender pay rise gap. They are already at a disadvantage when it comes to their finances, and the reticence to ask employers for a pay rise could mean that women are losing out on the opportunity to reduce this gap as well as strengthening both their short-term financial position and longer-term savings. Not only does a salary increase boost your personal finances, but your workplace pension contributions could receive a boost too.

“It’s a stereotype that men can be more direct in the workplace and more vocal about their financial needs, while women are believed to be less confident about speaking up. We need to challenge these notions, so they don’t become self-perpetuating. Employers too have a significant role to play in narrowing pay rise and promotion gaps, ensuring they encourage a culture where employees are able to discuss their career progression – including pay and benefits – at regular intervals.”

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