Women of color and minorities less likely to get pay raises than average white man, study says

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We’d all like to get that raise at work, but it may actually be harder for minorities to get a raise, compared to the average white man.

Compensation data company Payscale surveyed more than 160,000 workers, and learned a lot about who’s asking for raises and who’s actually getting them.

But socially, the biggest headline regarded minority workers.

Women of color were 19% less likely to have gotten a raise than a white man, and men of color were 25% less likely.

We spoke with Mollie Lombardi, CEO of the employment research firm Aptitude Research Partners, who said this isn’t a surprise to the HR world, which has known about this, but been unable to do much about it, for years.

Lombardi says “We have to learn to talk about what skills are worth at a time and place and at a level of competency and to teach managers and employees to be fluent in talking about compensation, and I think it’s something that we’re afraid to talk about because it is so personal and it is actually putting a value on someone’s time. But I think as organizations and individuals, we have to get comfortable with really bringing that into the conversation, because those are the fundamentals of the relationship.”

For those concerned they’ve been slighted on raises due to their race, experts say be careful who you ask and how you go about asking. You want to gather information without making matters worse.

The study also found 70% of all employees who asked for a raise did get some pay increase. Almost 40% got what they asked for, while just over 30% got less than they wanted.

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