Salary: Women too humble to ask for a raise


68% of Belgian women have never negotiated their wage, against 52% of men.

To succeed in the workplace, it is essential to develop specific skills that build ‘career capital’. This is the opinion shared by 89% of the 4,100 workers from 32 countries (including Belgium) surveyed by the international consultant Accenture – and, more specifically, 89% of women and 88% men. Belgian results are below average (74 % of women and 84% men).

Ann Bayart, managing director of Accenture Talent & Organization, said: “What is striking in this study is that only 66% of men and 44% of Belgian women believe that the ability to adapt will become more important than having a degree in the coming years , compared with the 91% (for both men and women) in the international average. But it is precisely the ability to adapt to change that makes a successful career.”

The survey also examined wages. In particular, we learn that 52% of men and 68% of women have never haggled or requested a salary increase. “This is is well above the international average which is at 43%,” said Ann Bayart. “The Netherlands, with which Belgium is often compared, are at 42% (for both men and women).” The country where workers negotiate the most is Brazil (only 20% of men and 28% of women have never requested an increase).

“What is interesting is to see the outcome of these salary negotiations. In Belgium, 58% of men who have requested an increase have got one, and 17% received more than they expected. For women who have requested an increase, 88% succeeded, and 25% of them received a larger amount. This means that woman are still good negotiators. And this should motivate all those who have not yet dared to ask for a raise!”

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