Do Black Americans Negotiate Less Than Other Groups? 5 Things To Know

Do Black Americans Negotiate Less Than Other Groups? 5 Things To Know

Black Americans

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

Negotiating is never easy. But for Black Americans, there comes the added factor of race. And because of this, Black people tend not to negotiate as much as others.

Negotiations come in handy when leveraging for a higher salary, bargaining for a lower interest rate on a home loan, or even getting a medical bill knocked down.

Research, however, shows Black people aren’t utilizing the power of negotiations as much as they can.

Here are five things to know.

1. Bias and wage gap faces by Black Americans

Studies have shown that African-American job candidates may face challenges in salary negotiations due to racial bias. When racially biased evaluators believe that Black candidates are negotiating too much, they tend to offer lower salaries, according to research published in 2018 by the American Psychological Association.

This face contributes to the seemingly non-ending wage gap experienced by African Americans, with college-educated Black men earning roughly 80 percent of what their white counterparts earn, according to the Pew Research Center.

The “Bargaining While Black: The Role of Race in Salary Negotiations,” study findings could help explain the racial wage gap, said lead study author Morela Hernandez, PhD, an associate professor of business administration at the University of Virginia.

“Racially biased people often believe negative stereotypes that characterize African-American job seekers as less qualified or motivated than white applicants,” Hernandez stated in the study. “Those stereotypes can have serious repercussions for African-Americans who choose to negotiate their starting salaries.”

2. Negative stereotypes

Racial bias often originates from unfounded stereotypes that unfairly portray African-American job seekers as being less competent or driven compared to their white peers. These prejudiced perceptions can impede the progress of African-Americans who opt to engage in salary negotiations, imposing substantial obstacles on their career advancement paths, found the “Bargaining While Black” study.

3. Everyday negotiations are different for Black Americans

Every day, we are faced with opportunities to negotiate and negotiations are often less successful for Black Americans. A 1991 study found that even when bargaining for a better car rental rate, Black Americans tend to get the short end of the stick.

The “Fair Driving: Gender and Race Discrimination in Retail Car Negotiations,” published by the Harvard Law Review,” found that in the Chicago-based research even when renting a car Black renters got higher rates even when they tried to bargain. This also happens when Black homebuyers try to bargain better mortgage rates.

An analysis of data from the 2019 American Housing Survey (AHS) showed that Black homeowners face not only higher interest rates on their primary mortgages in comparison to white homeowners with comparable incomes but also higher interest rates than white homeowners with significantly lower incomes, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

4. Proof is in the evidence

Study after study has shown that negotiating doesn’t really work for Black Americans, and it hasn’t for a very long time.

One study conducted experiments using resumes of African-American and white job applicants. Racially biased participants were more likely to expect that African-American applicants would negotiate less, leading to lower salary offers. These findings highlight the impact of bias on African-American job seekers and negotiators.

In real-world scenarios, African-American job candidates who were perceived to make additional offers or counteroffers during negotiations received lower starting salaries, averaging $300 less each time, according to the “Bargaining While Black” study.

5. Black Americans in tech

Data from Colourintech and Meta found that 56 percent of Black people in tech feel unable to negotiate a fair salary. On the other hand, 75 percent of white respondents feel empowered in doing so, according to Open Access Government.

“Navigating the world of tech-from the kind of roles available, skills required to even not knowing from where to start and also the lack of confidence as I didn’t see a lot of people who ‘looked’ like me being in this industry,” said Saloni Shah, a student at Imperial College London in MSc Strategic Marketing.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-gets-the-job-5439381/