UK women far less likely than men to ask for a pay rise

New report shows that nearly half of UK women fear asking for a rise could jeopardise their current position

The survey of 2000 UK employees, commissioned by the recruitment agency Randstad revealed that one in four women (43 per cent) still believe a glass ceiling exists in the world of work. Furthermore women are less likely to ask for a pay rise than men, according to the research. Just a fifth of women have asked their boss to up their salaries in the past three years, compared to over a third of men. Meanwhile, nearly half (47 per cent) of women said they wouldn’t even consider asking for a pay rise because they fear it might jeopardise their current position.

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Mark Bull, Randstad UK’s CEO, said: “The results of the survey highlight the challenges women continue to face in the workplace. It may be the 21st Century but to many female employees it still feels like we’re in the 20th.”

On average, female employees have had two increases to their pay in the past five years – men, by contrast, have had around three. Both men and women think employers’ attitudes is the key issue holding women back in the workplace – followed by lack of confidence and a lack of belief in their skills. Reflecting this, over half of females (55 per cent) believe more could be done to encourage and support them in going for ‘top jobs’.

Finally, while four in 10 working Brits think there will be a time when women and men get equal pay, one in 10 said they don’t believe there is an inequality in wages.

Mark Bull of Randstad added: “The UK workplace has changed beyond recognition in recent decades but a lot more still needs to be done by many employers large and small. We’re getting there but things aren’t moving as quickly as many would have hoped.”

The full report is available at

Debbie Carter

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