TAMPA — That number is getting thrown around a lot today-- especially with the hashtag "20 percent counts".
It's an argument you see a lot online,  but there are several things to consider when you're talking about differences in salaries.

A study found more than 70 percent of women prefer jobs with flexibility and benefits-- as opposed to a higher wage.

Women are more likely to work part time. And more likely to leave their job for a few years to care of their kids.. before returning to work.

There are dozens of explanations for the pay gap, but it's hard to pinpoint the numbers.

And get this: some economists say men get paid more because they're more likely to ask and fight for a higher salary.

10News reporter Mark Rivera broke down the strategies you can use to ask for a pay increase without getting fired.

Here's what a hiring expert has to say about four big strategies you can use to ask for a pay raise without getting fired:

RIVERA: Is there a best way to go about this?

Linda Bailey, Tampa Bay HR Consultant: Absolutely. When you feel like you're being undervalued and underpaid you have to put a little homework and first to find out what you believe is the gap, and there's lots of places to do that kind of research.



US Bureau of Labor Statistics

RIVERA: Does doing your homework include breaking one of the big taboos at work, which is asking your coworkers what they're paid.

BAILEY: I would go outside of the organization to folks that are equivalent and say, gosh, I'm feeling like the salary range might be a little low. What do you think? And these are the reasons why.

RIVERA: What is the best way to go to your boss and have that conversation?

BAILEY: I would ask the question. "I'm feeling you know I've been doing a little research and I'm feeling a little unappreciated. How would you like me to approach that?" And I would be very open and honest that way. Rather than just going and telling. Asking a question can usually open up the door and you might get some direction.

RIVERA: You should go in and ask how would I go about getting a raise?

BAILEY: (Ask) what do you need to know?

Knowing what your worth is as soon as you can. Not letting anyone undercut you. Honing your negotiation skills and realizing there's more than just salary and less there's benefits and other things of value.

And we don't get to do this every day so chances are we're not pretty good at it. So practice even if it's in front of the mirror. Tape yourself.

The worst thing that can happen is they say no. But you want to do it in a professional manner set the relationship hasn't been changed during the conversation.