In a recent study, we asked nearly 1,100 Americans about difficult conversations they have had at work. One of our findings: Women are less comfortable asking for raises than men.
In a follow-up study, we examined the intersection between gender and race/ethnicity when requesting a higher salary. We surveyed a diverse group of 2,000 Americans about raise negotiations. Although we found gender to be a larger factor than race/ethnicity, there were multiplicative effects when considering gender and race/ethnicity together.
Who Is the Most Likely to Have Asked for a Raise?
51.8 percent of our sample had asked for a raise at some point in their careers (which is in line with the findings of similar studies). Women of every race/ethnicity were less likely to have asked for a raise than men of every race/ethnicity, although the results of Asian-American men (51.8 percent) were close to those of Hispanic/Latina women (50.3 percent). Also, white men were the most likely to have asked for a raise; African-American women were the least.
Who Is the Most Comfortable Asking for a Raise?
African-American men and women were actually the most likely to feel comfortable asking for a raise at their current jobs, whereas Asian-American people were the least comfortable.
Are People More Comfortable Negotiating a Raise With Someone Who Is the Same Race as Them?
Overall, 55.1 percent of people said they would feel more comfortable negotiating a raise with someone who is the same race/ethnicity as them. African-Americans and Hispanic/Latino Americans were the most likely to say they would feel more comfortable negotiating a raise with someone who is the same race/ethnicity as them. White Americans were the most likely to say that race/ethnicity wouldn’t make a difference.
Do Women Believe They’ve Been Passed up on a Raise Due to Gender or Race?
39.4 percent of women believe they haven’t been given a raise because of gender or race/ethnicity. White women were the most likely to believe they’ve been forsaken a raise due to gender. Nonwhite women were more likely to believe that race/ethnicity or a combination of factors was at play.
It is everyone’s job to foster an inclusive office environment. Managers and employees both need to be aware of their biases, work to build common ground, and watch out for microaggressions.
In June 2016, we surveyed 2,000 people about salary and raise negotiations. Our sample was racially diverse with 550 African-American, 550 Asian-American, 550 Hispanic/Latino American, and 350 White American responses.