Do Race & Gender Play A Role in Salary Negotiations? A New Study Says Yes


Making the case for a promotion or raise is a nerve-wracking process for any employee, but is it a fair playing field for everyone?

In 2016, race and gender continue to be differentiating factors in the working world. Moreover, research shows that race and gender can play a role in salary negotiations. The experience of asking for a raise can be drastically different for a woman minority compared to a white male.

A survey of 2,000 diverse Americans conducted by Fractl shows that gender and race are major factors in salary raises–and the statistics might be more surprising than you think. Here’s a look at some of the key findings from this report.

Women of every race and ethnicity are less likely to ask for a raise.

When it comes to salary negotiations, women, in general, are less likely to ask for one. But when race enters into the picture, all women are less likely to ask for a raise compared to men of pretty much every race and ethnicity.

Fractl research shows that 51.8% of respondents have asked for a raise. But, when you break that down by race, the results are rather shocking. Both Asian-American men and women are the least likely to ask for a raise, followed by African-American women.

Unsurprisingly, white men are the most likely race to ask for a raise. Researchers believe this might have to do with a person’s cultural upbringing, as different cultures teach being respectful towards authority figures versus being assertive in the workplace.

[Related: We Have to Get Real, The Racial and Gender Pay Gap Exists]

People are more comfortable discussing a raise with someone of the same race or ethnicity.

An interesting finding from the Fractl survey shows that people are more comfortable negotiating a salary with someone who is the same race or ethnicity as them.

The research reports that 55.1% of respondents said they would prefer to discuss their salary with someone of the same race, with African-Americans and Hispanic or Latino Americans being those who are more likely to be more comfortable in this situation.

When it comes to race, it’s a matter of feeling comfortable.

People are more comfortable discussing salary with someone of the same race, but, surprisingly, African-American men and women are the most likely to feel comfortable to ask for a raise at their job.

69.9% of African-American men said they felt comfortable asking their current employer for a raise, compared to 61.3% of white American men and 66.1% of Hispanic or Latino American men.

[Related: #ShareYourPay: Glassdoor CEO Robert Hohman on the Gender Pay Gap]

Women believe they have been denied a raise due to their race or gender

Over a third of female respondents in this survey said they think they were denied a raise due to their gender or race. Moreover, according to the survey findings, white women believe the issue was their gender, whereas, non-white women think they were denied raise because of their ethnicity.

As a result, it appears that race does play a role in salary negotiations. Going into a salary negotiation is always nerve wrecking, but when you’re discussing the possibility of a salary raise with someone of the opposite gender or race it can lead to more discomfort and unfortunate results.

When it comes down to it, salary negotiations might depend on the level of comfort someone experiences while discussing the raise. People are more likely to feel comfortable discussing a raise with someone of the same gender and race, but, unfortunately, it appears workers have been denied promotions due to their gender or race.

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