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Asking for raises benefits men more than women, research finds

Research finds "no evidence" to support belief that the gender pay gap is due to women not being assertive in workplace negotiations.

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New study explodes myth that the gender pay gap is the result of women not asking for raises as often as their male counterparts.

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It's a myth that men get more raises than women because they ask for them more often, according to research released Tuesday.

Using data from 4,600 workers in Australia, the only country that collects information about requested raises, the study (PDF) found that men got raises 20 percent of the time they asked, versus 16 percent for women who work the same number of hours.

"No evidence" was found to support the long-held belief that the gender pay gap results from women not being assertive in workplace negotiations, according to the research collected by the Cass Business School in London, the University of Warwick and the University of Wisconsin. In 2015, women working full time earned 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21 percent, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

The pay gap is one of many diversity issues confronting companies in the tech industry. Silicon Valley has faced tough questions about the treatment of women and minorities, and the industry continues to struggle with recruitment, retention and promotion. For instance, Google said in June that in 2015 it had made only slow progress in hiring more women, blacks and Latinos. Last month, a tech industry recruiting firm reported that women have a better chance of being hired through blind interviews, meaning potential biases have been factored out.

"Having seen these findings, I think we have to accept that there is some element of pure discrimination against women," said Andrew Oswald, professor of economics and behavioral science at the University of Warwick and a co-author of the study.

However, the study did find one optimistic point: Women younger than 40 were negotiating pay raises at a rate on par with their male counterparts.