Number 5 – Negotiate Your Salary and Don’t Be Embarrassed
I’m sure that you’d agree this is wrong. There are a myriad of reasons but one of them is that women simply don’t ask for enough at the negotiation stage. Resolve not to be one of those women.
If you get embarrassed when talking about money that embarrassment can cross over with all involved trying to close the discussion as soon as possible. Get over it and get paid what you are worth. Imagine your feelings when you find out you are the lowest paid for what you do; that would be embarrassing. Do your research, find out what the going rate is and add at least 10% and then confidently ask for it. Even in an organisation where there are set pay bandings it’s possible to ask to be put further up the scale. If you don’t get it immediately you can ask for a review within 6 months and try again but this time armed with evidence of the quality of the work.
But actually, there is a strong chance that you will get it. Men tend to negotiate for much higher salaries than women do. I’ve talked to so many executive women who have told me that they accepted the first offer given. If they have been working with me I’ve told them not to accept that but to ask for considerably more. Most times (to their surprise and pleasure) they get it but even if they don’t, at the very least they have put down a marker for future pay discussions. It’s possible that you are in an organisation that has institutionalised, old school sexism and rewards the men with higher salaries as a matter of course, arguing that they are better qualified, more experienced etc. You need to help them change because they will miss out on some exceptional female talent, and you owe it to all the women who come after you to be strong, firm and fair in your salary negotiations.
If you don’t feel comfortable negotiating, go on a course or work with a coach beforehand; if they’re good the results will far outweigh the costs and stand you in good stead all through your career.
Don’t perpetuate the women get paid less story. Rise to the challenge and get paid what you’re worth!
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Posted on October 12th, 2013 by Jane