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Even with the women power chatter about the feminist movement in the quest to be equal, women are still making less than men!  You’ve heard it before, we still make about .77 cents for every $1.00 that a ma makes.

“Women still earn just 70 cents for every dollar a man earns.  It’s worse for African American women and Latinas.”

— President Obama, Remarks on Equal Pay for Equal Work, June 4, 2011  (The White House later corrected the president’s statement to 77 cents.)

 “Women earn only 77 cents for every dollar men earn, with women of color at an even greater disadvantage with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women.”

— White House Statement of Administration Policy on Paycheck Fairness Act, June 4

Why is that?  We don’t ask and we do so because we fear not being liked.

Women outnumber men in college and graduate school and continue to chip away at the glass ceiling yet we lag behind in salary negotiations.  I won’t spend this article talking about negotiating tips for women so much as I want to examine why we do this to ourselves.  I think once we understand why we tend to do something then we can go about devising a plan to correct it.

The Number 1 Reason Women Don’t Negotiate:  We want to be liked. 

We want to be seen as a team player.  Someone who is willing to understand the boss’ checkbook, keeping that in mind as you cower during salary negotiations.  Well, listen up sister.  You need to consider your wallet as well.  While we don’t talk much about frugality here, we do emphasize earing more money because saving money won’t build your wealth and keep you afloat during retirement.

Negotiating a higher salary now will.

Your boss almost counts on you to feel this way as it gives them an advantage.  This doesn’t make them evil but a skilled player in the game of negotiating since they already know your weakness: you’re willing to back down because you want to be liked.  Stop it.  You are liked.  You were hired.  Know that.

We Devalue Our Worth

Ever year you should be conducting a salary search in your field to see what others are being paid in your field and specific position.  Your salary shouldn’t just be about what your employer is willing to pay you.  It should be about what they can afford to pay you and the two are often very different.  Let’s go a bit further than that.

Let’s say you know what you’re worth and that you’re being underpaid.  Show of hands:  How likely are you to enter a salary negotiation ready to go to bat for what you deserve to be paid?  If you resisted at the thought then you have some work to do.  Research what you’re worth but also spend some time investigating the reasons why you wouldn’t want to ask for more based on the results.

Too Wrapped Up In Our Feelings

“I feel that I deserve a raise”

“It isn’t fair that I haven’t received an increase in 4 years”

Get out of your feelings.  We’re talking numbers and they don’t have feelings.  Your feelings are insignificant.  Your worth is what’s on the table.  Once you start dipping into your feelings, the other person at the table is likely to lose respect for you in the process because they are now spending time babysitting your feelings.  This process isn’t about your feelings.

Negotiating Tips

  • Don’t take no for an answer:
    • Ask clarifying questions about the reasons for not wanting to agree to an increase right now and what you can do to assure yourself of one at your next review.  If that isn’t an option, then start looking for another job.
  • Be persistent
    • Show your higher ups that while you want  a raise you’re willing to keep proving that you are deserving of the increase in salary.  Keep at it and don’t back down.  When you show that you understand your worth, trust me, the respect will follow, even if they are unable to do it at this time.
  • Be creative
    • If the answer is no.  Discuss alternate means of compensation.  Be flexible, but whatever terms you work out, make sure that you are able to secure terms that work in your favor.
  • Know how to play the game…AND WIN!
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