Few French women dare to ask for a salary increase

Few French women dare to ask for a salary increase

Negotiating a raise is a difficult exercise for many people. But women feel particularly intimidated by the idea of ​​asking their supervisor for a salary increase. However, it is not the desire that they lack, according to a recent survey.

For good reason, 73% of French women consider themselves underpaid, according to a recent Indeed* survey. This feeling is particularly widespread among young working women, that is to say those belonging to generation Z. More than 80% of employees aged 18 to 24 say they are dissatisfied with their current remuneration.

Generally speaking, women in France consider salary to be the biggest downside to their work. They seem satisfied in terms of job security and work/life balance, but they deplore the existence of salary inequalities between men and women. Some 54% of French women think that they are paid less than their male colleagues within their company, and 29% think that this salary gap is “very large”.

In this context, we might expect working women to make an appointment with their manager to negotiate a raise. But many of them do not dare to do so. Only 34% of French women feel comfortable enough to request a salary increase. This is much less than Indian women (53%) or Americans (36%).

Increases lower than those requested

But how can we explain this reluctance? First of all, by lack of habit. More than 45% of employees in France have never asked for a salary increase during their career. In addition, remuneration remains a taboo, particularly in France. Employees are often reluctant to talk about their salary expectations, even if new arrivals on the job market are increasingly challenging the status quo.

Furthermore, women who dare to take the plunge are still not always satisfied with the amount of the said increase. If three quarters of French women who requested a salary increase saw their remuneration change, only 28% of them obtained the amount they wanted. A large proportion of working women (48%) obtained a lower salary increase than what they had requested from their supervisor. Nearly a quarter (23%) were even refused.

*This survey was conducted by YouGov, on behalf of Indeed, among 14,677 women in full-time or part-time employment in 11 countries. Among them, 1,336 come from France. The results of this survey were collected between November 14 and 23, 2023.