It’s no surprise that women get paid less than men, about 79 cents on the dollar, according to 2015 stats. But why is that, and how do women negotiate their way to equal pay?
Learn How to Become is an online resource that’s constantly trying to answer these questions. First, the answer of why: Education, family, segregation in occupations and flat-out discrimination seem to be the key reasons. While white and Asian American women outpace male students in college attendance, female minorities still lag in attendance and degree completion. Expectations of mothers, while better than decades prior, are still high. There are still male-centric workforces in STEM jobs, which tend to pay the most. And, last but not least, under-the-radar discrimination could still make up the 40 percent of “open to interpretation” reasoning for why women receive unequal pay, according to a report by the National Women’s Law Center.
While women earn way more than they ever have before, it’s still far from equal. Learn How to Become suggests six ways into how women can bridge the gender wage gap: contact a congressional representative, pick a fair field, seek out promotions, talk about yourself, cultivate negotiation skills and then continue to use those skills.
In fact, negotiation tends to be one of the biggest factors in keeping women from equal pay. Learn How to Become has tips on this, too, which starts with simply “doing it.” Women need to be confident in asking for salaries and believing in their worth instead of assuming that the process will be fair. If you’re completely unsure of what your worth is, using tools like Glassdoor’s salary calculator can give you a base from which to start.
Women need to be confident in asking for salaries and believing in their worth.
After you know your worth, there are a couple of other key things to keep in mind before walking into a salary negotiation. First, do your research (hence the Glassdoor salary calculator) and propose a win-win scenario for the company. Next, rehearse what you’re going to say so you’ll know exactly what to do under pressure. It doesn’t hurt to write it out and have a few key bullet points that you want to include in the negotiation room. Lastly, stick to your guns and don’t apologize. Too often, women are worried about asking for excessive demands, but in reality, it never hurts to ask. And in most cases, you’ll get a lot more respect if you did.