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Half of Women Have Never Negotiated Their Salary

Assertive women are judged more harshly than their male peers are, and it could be costing them

Women who negotiate for themselves or ask for what they want are judged more harshly than are their male peers. Assertive women are considered less likeable than their less assertive peers; whereas men are judged on potential, women are judged on their past performance; women are called “bossy” while men are called leaders.

And as a result, women tend to underestimate their professional value, not ask for raises, and it turns out—not negotiate their salaries.

In an August 2019 survey, InHerSight found that only half of women say they have ever negotiated their salary.

Survey results have you ever negotiate your salary

Lack of confidence may contribute to women’s not advocating for their pay, though it’s not likely an overwhelming driver.

Forty-seven percent of women say they feel at least somewhat confident in their ability to negotiate their salary. Only one in four say they feel very unconfident doing so.

Survey results how confident do you feel in your ability to negotiate your salary

When it comes to the success of women who do negotiate their salary, less than half (48 percent) of the women we surveyed say they have been at least somewhat successful in their negotiation, while only 13 percent say they have been very successful.

The narrow majority (52 percent) say they have not been successful in negotiating their pay.

Survey results how successful have you been in negotiating your salary


Have you ever negotiated salary: Survey of 1,041 InHerSight users in August 2019.

How successful have you been: Survey of 723 InHerSight users in August 2019.

How confident do you feel: Survey of 806 InHerSight users in August 2019.

InHerSight has ratings and reviews by working women on more than 120K companies in the United States.

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By Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza

Content Strategist, InHerSight

Emily is on staff at InHerSight where she researches and writes about data that describes women in the workplace, women's compensation and contract literacy, and women's rights in the workplace. 

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