Contrary to some popular “wisdom” on women and the pay gap, women do ask for raises and promotions as often as men. They are just given less for their request then their male counterparts.
The conclusion is just one drawn in The Myth of the Ideal Worker, a Catalyst report that looks studied gender issues in business. The research focused on the career paths of high-potential men and women, sampling from thousands of MBA graduates from top schools across the globe and found that, among those who had moved on from their first post-MBA job there was no real difference in the proportion of women and men who asked for a raise or a promotion. That is, men and women were asking for raises and promotions at the same rate.
They just weren’t receiving them at the same rate.
Women who initiated the conversations about pay or promotions and changed jobs post MBA actually experienced slower compensation growth then the women who did not switch jobs. This is a totally different story for men. For men, changing jobs went hand-in-hand with negotiating for a higher salary.
But for women, there is simply no catching up. The Catalyst report shows that as both men’s and women’s careers progress, the gender gap in level and pay grows.
So what would be driving this difference if in fact women do ask for raises and promotions as often as men and just get less in return? Could it be old-fashioned gender bias? I’m having a hard time seeing any other explanation.
Photo from dmuth via flickr.