University of Wisconsin study dispels workplace discrimination myth

Most people understand that there is a pay gap between the two genders. The question is really why the gap between men and women persists.

One popular explanation has been that men are typically more assertive and therefore ask more frequently and effectively for raises. A recent University of Wisconsin study lays waste to the explanation, however. It shows “no difference” in how likely an average man and an average woman are to ask for raises.

The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin in conjunction with the UK’s University of Warwick and Cass Business School.

Researchers said their finding refutes the popular “assertiveness theory” that placed “some of the responsibility for the existence of gender differentials upon female employees.” An article in the Guardian notes that the World Economic Forum research reveals on that there is not a single country in existence where men and women make equal pay for equal work. Researchers there predict it will take 81 years for the gender wage gap to be eliminated.

The wage gap is currently 21 percent in the U.S.

The recent study also dispels a related theory that women don’t ask for raises because they are more sensitive to possible negative repercussions in their workplace relationships.

However, there is an upside to the data, researchers said: Younger women are more successful at negotiating raises than older women. That’s a trend that, if it continues, could help undo the wage gap, a study co-author said.

Part of the way traditional discrimination is battled is when people are brave enough to challenge workplace bias. A Milwaukee employment law attorney from Alan C. Olson & Associates will discuss with you the circumstances of your situation and help you fight for your rights and the benefits you deserve.

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