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More than Two-Thirds of Women Suffer in Silence as Fear Stops Salary Negotiations


More than two-thirds (67%) of women are scared to negotiate on salary, revealing that having a career break has affected their confidence when applying for a new job, a new study reveals. 

The findings from, one of the UK’s leading jobs and careers sites, discover that nearly seven in ten (69%) women admit time off work has resulted in a lack of confidence when applying for a new role.

On top of that, the cost-of-living crisis has resulted in more than three-quarters (77%) of women looking for roles with a higher salary, compared to only 59% of men. However, they’re being let down by potential employers not displaying salaries, as over eight in 10 (83%) reveal they’re unlikely to apply for a job if the salary isn’t listed on the job advert. Worryingly, this has seen a +5% increase since February 2022.

Furthermore, the government’s pay transparency pilot scheme launched in March to encourage businesses to display salaries and ‘break down barriers for women’ has had no impact on employer behaviour. The percentage of jobs not advertising salary on has actually increased from 13% to 14% over the past six months.

The classic British stiff upper lip is still firmly in play, as almost one in five (18%) women only apply for roles with the salary clearly stated, as they don’t like to discuss money.

Mothers need to be looked after too

With 93% of mothers taking a career break due to maternity leave, adoption leave, or looking after children, seven in ten (70%) say they’ve been questioned about the reasons behind taking time off work during the interview process.

This has caused a knock-on effect when negotiating salary, as over two-thirds (68%) reveal this has affected their confidence, with over eight in ten (81%) admitting the absence of salary on a job advert further deters them from applying.

The top three reasons women cite as contributing to their lack of confidence are being nervous in interviews (63%), CV writing (38%), and knowing which personal skills and strengths to highlight to an employer (36%).

Forget work perks, money talks for Gen Z

As many employers turn to offer better employee benefits to entice younger talent, only a quarter of Gen Z women (18-24 year-olds) find this a pull factor, with salary (67%) and work-life balance (55%) remaining their top priorities.

When entering the working world, more than half (54%) would like to know the salary range for a job role to help build their confidence in negotiating. However, this proves difficult as more than one in 10 (11%) have no idea what the industry standards are for their chosen career.

To help jobseekers navigate salary negotiation conversations, Beckie Sizer, HR Director, is giving her top tips on how to do this

Commenting on the research, Simon Wingate, Managing Director of, says:

“It’s clear from our research that negotiating salary is still a taboo subject, particularly for women and mothers. With over eight in 10 (83%) unlikely to apply for a job unless the salary is listed, this is an issue we need to address together as an industry.

“It shows a need for businesses to include salaries within job descriptions, not only to help build jobseekers’ confidence and to ensure they don’t miss out on any opportunities but also to benefit employers to ensure they aren’t missing out on talent. People Love Mondays when they get paid what they deserve, which is why we’re launching the Average Salary Checker feature on our app to open the discussions around salary and we encourage other businesses to follow suit.” is launching its brand-new Average Salary Checker feature on its mobile app. The aim is to give jobseekers confidence when negotiating on salary and a better understanding of the current market rate for the job they’re applying for. The feature will display the average salary and the ‘lowest’ and ‘highest’ salaries for the searched job role.