Girls, stop settling for less! Get what you deserve by learning how to negotiate like a pro.
Why do women make less than men?
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years, the gender wage gap is totally a thing. The wage gap is basically a phenomenon that observes how women tend to make less than men, even when doing exactly the same work. According to studies, on average, women make 4.8 to 7% less than men.
Which brings us back to our question: why does this happen?
Many say that this is due to systematic patriarchy, and sure, that plays an important a part. But how does it manifest? Generally, women are just not as assertive as men. For her book Women Don’t Ask, Linda Babcock found that when they got a job offer, only 7% of women tried to negotiate for a higher pay, versus 57% of men who do. And those women who did negotiate for a higher pay ended up increasing their offer by 7%—doing away with the wage gap.
Negotiation tips for women
So basically, girls, we have to stop underselling ourselves if we want to get what we actually deserve. Here are some negotiation tips to help you do just that.
1. Know what you want
If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want, then you’ll probably end up with an unsatisfying deal. When I was interviewing for my first job, I had no idea what I was looking for, and ended up in a job that was way too far from my house, didn’t pay much, and didn’t have a lot of room for growth either. Don’t make this same mistake.
List out your wants and see which ones are non-negotiables and which you can be more flexible on. Of course, you have to stay realistic and watch your timing. If your company is currently struggling to break even, maybe now’s not the best time to ask for a significant raise.
2. Raise your expectations
Another point from the ‘Negotiation tips for women’ is as per the Babcock’s study, women tend to get less than their male counterparts because they just have lower expectations. After being given a figure, they assume that that’s as high as it’s ever going to get and don’t even try to get a better salary. By not asking, we immediately disqualify ourselves from getting something better.
3. Don’t apologise
According to studies, women tend to apologise more than men, which is all well and good if you’re just trying to keep the peace, but can definitely work to your disadvantage in the workplace. Negotiation tips for women also states that while negotiating, you have to appear as confident as you can, and apologising just makes it look like you’re second-guessing yourself.
4. Watch your body language
Closely related to the item above, keeping your body straight and open communicates will work wonders for your career. You can be the most capable person in the room yet still not get the attention you deserve if you don’t project confidence.
5. Build rapport
Don’t make your supervisor/HR manager the bad guy. By doing so, they’ll treat the negotiation like an argument that needs to be won, so you’ll have an even harder time getting what you want. Find points you can agree on (like how you’ve been kicking ass at your job) and work from there
6. Remember: it’s not just about the money
Your employer might not be willing to give you a pay raise, but what about other benefits? Maybe you could ask for the option to telecommute, or even just a more prestigious sounding title. Think out of the box and you’ll be more likely to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement.