By Meera Jagannathan
Salary negotiation isn’t colorblind, a new report suggests.
White men are significantly more likely than people of color to have gotten a raise after asking for one, according to a new PayScale report. Men of color were 25% less likely to have received a raise after asking, while women of color were 19% less likely.
Nearly half (49%) of all respondents denied a raise said their employer cited budgetary constraints, while a third said they weren’t provided any rationale.
Meanwhile, no racial group, ethnic group or gender was statistically more likely to have pursued a raise than another group, the study of more than 160,000 respondents found, and the researchers controlled for factors like tenure and job level. The new research “supports growing evidence that simply expecting people from underestimated backgrounds to ask for a raise will not close the wage gap,” Ruchika Tulshyan, author of “The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality in the Workplace,” said in a statement.
“Negotiation is a remedy that has worked for white men to raise their salaries, but it is not one that is universally applicable, particularly when bias is at play,” Tulshyan said. “For people who believe they are facing bias in a raise conversation, I recommend collecting data about the salary benchmarks for similar positions at the organization and beginning a discussion with HR.”
While the oft-cited average U.S. gender wage gap is 80 cents on a man’s dollar, many women also face a racial or ethnic wage gap. Full-time black women workers tend to make just 63 cents on their white male counterparts’ dollar, according to the National Women’s Law Center ; Latinas make 54 cents, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women make 59 cents, and Native American women make 57 cents. “While Asian women working full time, year round are typically paid only 87 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts, the wage gap is substantially larger for some subgroups of Asian women,” the NWLC noted.
Despite the disheartening findings, the PayScale study did find overall that “the odds of getting a raise are in your favor.” Seven in 10 workers who asked for a raise got one, and nearly four in 10 who asked received the raise amount they’d requested.