While some things are getting better for women in the workforce, women, on average, are earning 26 cents less than men on the dollar. Women need to tackle this problem head-on and take responsibility for asking for, and getting, higher salaries.
Why is this happening, you ask? Women are socialized to think that things are fair. And so, when a hiring manager makes an initial salary offer, they tend to take it, no questions asked. What women fail to realize is that an initial offer is typically less, sometimes even far less, than what the hiring manager is willing to pay.
- Women often have no or poor negotiation skills. They need to develop these skills in order to get what they’re actually worth. In order to develop negotiation skills women should start by developing confidence in their skills. They need to understand exactly what they have to offer. Making a list of the skills they are good at is a great way to start. Then, they need to understand exactly what their skills are worth. Using salary calculators found online is a great way to do this (a Google search of “salary calculators” will reveal numerous resources).
- Next, women should let the prospective employer state the first salary offer. Then, they should come back with a counter-offer, keeping their research in mind and defining specifically why they’re worth the salary they’re asking for. Once women are comfortable with the salary offer they should ask for it in writing.
- If a woman does accept a low-ball salary she should ask for a performance and salary review in six months to bring her salary up to where it should be.
Yes it’s true that society has some changes to make regarding pay disparities for women. But it’s equally true that women need to change in order to take responsibility for their own salary negotiations. Many of the women we at Connections to Success serve invest a lot of their time in preparation for job interviews. They also need to prepare for salary negotiation. We can help them and you be prepared to ask for the wage you deserve. By doing so, you will join the movement for gender pay equality!