More than two-thirds (67%) of women report being scared to negotiate on salary, because a career break has affected their confidence, according to research from career site Reed.co.uk.
The research found that 69% of female respondents lacked confidence when applying for new roles, due to having taken time off work during their career.
Nevertheless, 77% of women said they are looking for higher paying roles due to the cost-of-living crisis, compared with 59% of men.
More than four-fifths (83%) of women revealed that they were unlikely to apply for a job if the salary is not listed on the job advert, which is a 5% increase since February of this year. Almost one in five (18%) would only apply for roles where the salary was clearly stated, as they do not like to discuss money.
The percentage of job listings that do not advertise salary on the website, meanwhile, has increased from 13% to 14% over six months.
For 93% of those respondents who had taken a career break, the reason was maternity, adoption, or childcare, and 70% said they had been questioned on their reasons during the interview process.
Broken down by generation, female respondents aged between 18 and 24 said that salary (67%) and work-life balance (55%) were their top priorities, over employee benefits. More than half (54%) in this age range would like to know the salary range in order to boost confidence when negotiating, but 11% admitted to having no idea about industry standards for their chosen career.
Simon Wingate, managing director of Reed.co.uk, said: “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.”