In the first years of the new millennium, women have been more prevalent in the workplace than ever, with women gaining 52% of available jobs for the years 2000-2005. However, while women are certainly getting more jobs, they are not always benefiting from the same salary scale as men—gender-based pay inequity is still very prevalent in the workplace…
The good news is, women are getting more and more of the top jobs—particularly in the fields of health care and finance—and more and more women are assuming managerial roles. The bad news is, the wage gap is still very much in evidence. In 2005, the average man earned $663 per week. The average woman? Just $486, or 73% of the average man’s weekly paycheck.
Part of the problem is simply that many women don’t negotiate salary and benefits when they receive a job offer. Particularly when women have been out of the workplace caring for children, it doesn’t occur to them that they can negotiate, or they don’t believe they have the skills to negotiate a more favorable compensation package.
Adopt a Negotiating Style that’s Comfortable for you
The way you negotiate needs to reflect your personality—if it’s not your normal style, adopting a tougher, harder personality for negotiating only makes you feel uncomfortable. Women often prefer a more collaborative style of negotiation, so use this knowledge and play to your strengths—you can still speak firmly if you’re a soft-spoken person, and you can still disagree if remaining polite is important to you. A firm yet polite way of speaking is much more effective than raising your voice and an employer is more impressed by someone who can negotiate calmly.
Don’t be Afraid to say “No”
For a variety of reasons, many women find it difficult to say “no”. However, learning when to say that word is an important negotiating tool. You don’t need to be aggressive or loud when saying “no”—in fact, a quiet yet firm statement can be much more powerful. If you’re offered a lower salary than you’re worth, you must be willing to point that out instead of settling for less.
Imagine that you’re Negotiating for another person
If, like many women, you have difficulty asking for something for yourself, try pretending that you’re negotiating on someone else’s behalf. How strongly would you negotiate if you were doing it for a much-loved friend or family member?