The stats tell us that generally women get paid less than men. Sometimes it’s because jobs occupied primarily by women are accorded a lesser status, and sometimes it’s because companies pay men more because they ask for more, or because they have an inbuilt gender bias.
I have worked with several women who have found out by accident that their male counterparts were being paid more for the same job and they were incensed.
So what can you do?
1.Well, you can always ask for more than your original offer when you get a job. Employers are unlikely to pitch in at the high end of your budget so there is often some wiggle room. This can be really effective as it throws down a marker of how much you value yourself and therefore your value to the company. If you’re not happy with negotiating get some support and training. Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, says ‘be nice but insistent’.
2. Make sure you know your value and that the organisation knows your value. We women are notoriously good at underselling ourselves but if we want equal pay we have to SpeakUp. Keep a record of your achievements and any additional responsibilities you take on. men tend to oversell so in comparison we can look less skilled. Take the credit that is due to you and make sure you use it when asking for more pay.
3. Research the pay in your particular sector. Don’t go into a job interview unprepared and then when you’re feeling so pleased at having been offered a job, flounder when it comes to negotiating your salary because you’re not sure what is appropriate. I have done that: ‘what do you want Jane?’ Err? I didn’t know! Have a good idea of what is on offer in the sector across both genders and ask for the higher end. If you don’t get it immediately, ask for a review time.
Have faith in your abilities and that confidence will come across. There is some more helpful advice here on the Equalities and Human Rights website.
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Picture credit: Ivan Prole
Posted on August 6th, 2013 by Jane