The employment landscape has experienced significant shifts in 2023 , particularly with an unprecedented rise in full-time employment for women.
Despite these favourable labour market conditions, many people, namely women have fortified their bargaining strength.
This amplifies the need for those who haven’t received a pay rise this year to ask for one to avoid their real wage being diminished.
Recent inflation data underscores this urgency, with the inflation rate remaining above 5% in the third quarter of 2023.
The year has been marked by soaring prices compounded by rising interest rates. This combination threatens the real wages of all Australian women and emphasises the need to ask for a pay rise if they haven’t had one this year.
Nationally, wages growth for Australian workers sits at just 3.6%, as measured by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), well below the inflation rate.
With a national skills shortage evident in the economy, and the unemployment rate sitting at just 3.6%, wages growth still has a long way to go before it catches up to rising costs.
Women in particular must embrace open communication and engage with employers to ask for a deserved pay rise.
Historically, women, even high achievers, have been more hesitant than men to negotiate pay rises. However, it’s not solely the responsibility of women.
Employers also bear an equal, if not greater, onus to proactively review and adjust wages in line with the market trends and inflation rates. This ensures not only equity but also aids in retaining talent and fostering a satisfied and motivated workforce.
A deeper dive into the statistics reveals the substantial shifts in employment patterns. the number of women employed full-time has jumped over the past year, with many females moving into full-time from part-time jobs and rejoining the workforce as the female participation rate hits a record high of 62.7%.
Female full-time employment stood at 3,839,100 in September, up from 3,704,100 in September 2022, representing jobs growth around 3.6%. That compares to an increase in male full-time employment of around 1.7% over the same period. The economic ramifications are profound, with women not only augmenting their financial independence but also consolidating their bargaining power in the labour market.
Keys to Successful Wage Negotiation
When asking your employer for a pay rise, preparation is paramount. Here’s the number one thing to do ahead of your next negotiation!
Highlight tangible contributions to the organisation, bolstering your arguments with clear evidence of the value you added to the organisation. If possible, provide data reflecting improvements in sales or profit margins directly attributable to your efforts. Familiarising yourself with industry-standard salaries for comparable roles provides a benchmark, strengthening your negotiating power.
In the prevailing tight job market, employers will be inclined to renegotiate salary packages, given the significant challenges in recruiting replacements in a market characterised by the lowest unemployment rates since 1974 and a dwindling pool of available workers.
With the exodus of ‘baby boomers’ from the workforce, there’s a palpable vacuum.
Both employers and employees must recognise the mutual benefits of wage negotiation.
Employers must actively contribute to creating an environment where employees feel empowered to discuss their worth and compensation without apprehension.
The message is clear: the current climate is ripe for employees to openly seek pay rises for 2024, and for employers to ensure fair compensation. Seize the moment!
Financy covers gender finance, diversity, inclusion and ESG issues. We advocate for gender equity change through the Women’s Index report and help businesses take action on DEI through tech solutions like IMPACTER.