It is a commonly known fact that most women make less money than their male counterparts in similar positions. A comparative analysis conducted by PayScale.com, shows that in the U.S. men, on average, earn 25.6% more than women.
One of the reasons why women earn less than their male counterparts is often their inability to negotiate their salary. Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg says, “Women don’t negotiate for themselves because others react badly to it” in an interview with Newsweek.
Here are a few suggestions that you should keep in mind when negotiating your salary:
Know your skills and quantify your worth
Before you enter into a salary discussion, you should know what your skills are worth. There are plenty of resources on the Web that can help you roughly estimate a salary for a specific skill set, role, and experience level. In addition, you can self-assess yourselves based on the job description and identify a good salary that you would be happy to receive as an offer.
Aim for higher pay
Simply put, if you set a high salary as your goal, you’re more likely to get a reasonable salary as a result of the negotiation. Do not be afraid to ask for a higher salary when you believe you deserve it. If you are good enough for a role and are open to negotiating, there is a negligible risk of you losing an offer on account of asking for a higher salary.
Work towards a win-win situation
Make sure that you discuss the interests of your potential employer while you are negotiating. This will maintain a positive tone during the entire negotiation process. Also, this will exhibit your concern for your employer, and not just your salary. Ideally, a good negotiation should result in a win-win situation for both sides, and being considerate about your employer will help you achieve this goal.
Don’t try to mimic a man
Be yourself, and act like the woman that you are. In your attempt to negotiate, maintain your natural demeanor and tone, but remain firm in your demands. Do not try to be someone you are not. Men are socially perceived to act differently than women, and there is no advantage to breaking that perception. In your speech during the negotiation, show confidence rather than arrogance, and stay true to yourself. .
Rehearse and role-play
You won’t get another chance at reaching a better pay level, and that’s why you need to be well-prepared for this negotiation. A good way to prepare is by knowing your strengths and weaknesses and then preparing a short, no-nonsense speech where you can briefly explain the reasons you are seeking a higher salary. After you have prepared your story, you should rehearse it a few times so that it comes naturally during the actual meeting. You might want to seek the help of a friend and receive feedback on how your approach to the situation might be received.
Remember, it is your skill set, not gender, which should define your salary. If you believe that you are skilled enough, do not shy away from negotiation. If you are capable of speaking up and fighting for what you deserve, you will be able to achieve a salary no lower than your male counterparts.