women and pay

Women: start asking for that bonus!

Research shows that women are undervaluing themselves by not asking the boss for a bonus, even when they truly believe they deserve it.

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Women are potentially doing themselves out of earning more money by not negotiating like a boss on bonuses, according to new research by job website SEEK.

Data provided exclusively to Financy shows that only one in five Australians had the potential for a bonus allowance to be worked into their remuneration package, with men more likely, at 27 per cent, than women, at 14 per cent, to have a bonus allowance.

The SEEK survey asked working Australians about their salary, including whether they were entitled to a bonus.

Of those Australians who have a bonus allowance included in their remuneration, 29 per cent of men thought it was likely they would get theirs paid out this year.

But women weren’t as confident with only 19 per cent saying they thought they would get their bonus paid.

Indeed research also suggests that even when women do negotiate a bonus, they often settle for less money – sometimes unknowingly, compared to their male peers.

As it stands Australian women earn significantly less than men on average. This is for a variety of reasons, including working part-time to help care for loved ones, and sometimes because of difficulty breaking through in male dominated industries.

It’s estimated that even in leadership positions, women can earn $100,000 less than their male peers for doing exactly the same job.

The gender pay gap and time out of the workforce to care for loved ones, also means that women tend to retire on half as much superannuation savings for their retirement than men.

SEEK Spokesperson Sarah Macartney said one of the reasons more men received a bonus could be the emphasis they put on having one included in their contracts.

What was most apparent, was that men were more comfortable with asking for and demanding a bonus be paid.

In fact 10 per cent of men said they wouldn’t take a role if it didn’t include a bonus, while just six per cent of women would walk away from an opportunity because it didn’t include a bonus.

“Our position in this is that to bridge the gap in pay equality across Australia in a market where base salaries are harder to negotiate, we need to empower woman to get comfortable with the concept of performance based bonuses in their remuneration package.

“For women that find it uncomfortable to negotiate salary or demonstrate their workplace successes, a performance-based bonus can be a great way to ensure these achievements are recognised.

“By measuring your output against your performance targets it can feel less self-promoting but ensures you are recognised for stand-out performance,” said Ms Macartney.

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