The pay gap for women in our country is far too wide. But with a little negotiating, women will never have to settle for a salary less than a man doing the same job again. You can get the money that you deserve with these five keys of negotiation.
You polished your resume – and your nails.
You prepped your hair the night before to make sure that… it…is…laid.
Your makeup is perfect…not too much, or too little.
The sound of your high heels strutting down the hall is like music to your ears, boosting your confidence with its rhythm.
And your classy business ensemble makes you feel like a million dollars.
You are a woman in the workforce.
You are a woman who is likely interested in making your mark in the marketplace whether you have been there for years, or if you are making your second debut… a comeback.
Regardless of which, you walk into the office like you are the Condoleezza Rice of your field. You know your stuff, and you know how much your expertise is worth.
You’re prepared to sit down in front of a room of men who look totally different from you. Men who you have little to nothing in common with, outside of your professional interest.
You are ready to discuss a potential position with a future employer, or a pay raise for the work that you already do.
But hold on!
Before you walk through the door and sit down to discuss a new opportunity in your career, you’ll need to know what odds you are against.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, full-time working women on average earn only 82% of what full-time working men earn.
And wait, there’s more. If your skin has a pigment of caramel, peanut butter or chocolate, the pay disparity for women is even worse.
Black women earn 62 cents for every dollar that their white male counterparts make.
This is unacceptable…. meaning – you DO NOT have to accept this as your truth.
These are the odds, but they can be beaten.
It is so important for women to overcome pay disparities: a smaller income has many negative long-term implications. You see, when you get paid less, you invest less. You are then more likely to take a risk by conservatively investing into your company’s 401K matching plan, all under the idea that you can’t afford it. In the end, your retirement security is affected.
Your current salary is also the benchmark for future raises and bonuses. It takes a long while to close the gap of a too low pay grade. To prevent the gap from widening, women must level the playing field by asking for the money that they deserve. This can be done with the art of negotiation.
Don’t worry, I’m going to help you. I don’t want to see you leave money on the table because you didn’t ask for it. Let’s make sure that money gets off the table and into your purse. Women are very smart, and they are naturally excellent negotiators and communicators. We will put those good skills to use to help meet your needs.
How to Negotiate For The Pay You Deserve
1. Know your worth
Be prepared to articulate your strengths and success in your field. Communicate how you will be an asset to the company. Share how your unique skill set and abilities will benefit your potential employers. Have the mindset that your skills are valuable.
2. Do your homework
You will want to do a bit of research to assure that your asking rate is in line with your industry’s standards. You can visit websites to find out the average salary for someone with your occupation who lives in your area. Some employers have the company’s compensation history available where you can review salary pay scales, learn the criteria for raises, and see timelines for compensation reviews.
3. Know that negotiation is a two-way street.
Remember that negotiation works both ways. You are essentially making a deal with your employer. Both parties will be looking out for their own best interest. So along with communicating your expected salary, make it clear that you are worth the investment. Be ready and willing to address any potential concerns.
4. Be prepared to counteroffer
You don’t assume that the first salary offer that you receive will be the last. If the amount is less than what you are looking for, be prepared to counteroffer. Don’t fear rubbing anyone the wrong way by doing this – this is business as usual.
5. Confidence is Power
When negotiating, be confident in the gifts, talents, and success that God has given you. Even if you are in a room with a bunch of affluent businessmen, know that you can roll with the big dogs too. A firm handshake and eye contact are always signs of confidence and sureness. And, if you still aren’t confident, just fake it until you make it. You’ll find that in faking confidence, it eventually becomes real.
But money isn’t the end-all, be-all. Outside of earning the salary that you deserve and gaining that beautifully wrapped benefits package, there are some things that you will want to ask your potential employers about. Inquire about advancement opportunities, leadership positions held by women (and initiatives to increase these roles if the numbers are low), career development, company morale, and whether or not the company has family-friendly policies and benefits. These things will ultimately help assure that the opportunity is the right one for you.
The pay gap for women is going to close – and it starts with you. So, the next time you have the opportunity to negotiate, throw away any hesitation and put on the mindset of confidence and boldness as if you were going to say, “Show me the money!”