Closing The Gap

To earn the same salaries as men, women have to ask for larger percentage raises—here's why

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According to a new report from Glassdoor, male and female job hunters seek the same raise in their next role: 33 percent. 

But the report, which analyzed the salaries of over 425,000 full-time U.S. employees, highlights that women must ask for greater percentage raises in order to earn dollar amounts equal to those of their male counterparts.

Men, on average, earn 21.4 percent higher base pay than women, according to Glassdoor data. (That gap shrinks when comparing workers of similar age, education and experience, but only very slightly — to 19.1 percent.) That means that for most women, especially women of color, asking for the same percentage raise as a male colleague will perpetuate your current pay gap into your next job, even as you earn more. 

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Glassdoor also took a closer look at how the pay gap changes as women age. The job search site found that younger workers face a smaller gender pay gap than older workers, meaning that as women climb the professional ladder and decades of pay discrepancies pile up, they're much more likely to earn less than their male peers.

"There are a few factors at play here," Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao tells CNBC Make It. "First, there is certainly evidence of bias. Men tend to be promoted faster and more often than women, even when they have similar qualifications and performance."

Second, Zhao points out that as women have children, they can be hit by what's often referred to as the "motherhood penalty." "Research shows that having a child can hurt a mother's earnings," says Zhao, "whereas having a child can actually boost a father's earnings."

Additionally, he says, a "lack of affordable childcare, paid parental leave and flexible work hours also often force women to take time off from work or sacrifice career advancement in order to raise their children."

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Annie Pearl, Glassdoor's SVP of Product, says that in order to help close this gap, women need to do ample research to make sure that what they're asking for is comparable to their market value — and then ask for more. 

"Really know your facts when it comes to going in and having that negotiation conversation with your current employer or a future company," she says. "Research shows that while women do negotiate less often then men, when there is transparency and when they are armed with information, they are much more likely to have confidence when they go in and have that negotiation conversation."

If progress continues at its current rate, Glassdoor predicts that it will be 2070 before men and women earn equal pay. Zhao says that while it's clear there's a long way to go, he's optimistic in the efforts of younger generations.

"The newest generation of workers are more empowered than ever before in fighting for equal pay," he says. "As this generation takes up an increasing share of the workforce, we may see the pay gap continue to shrink."

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