Why Every Woman Should Be Empowered To Ask For The Salary She Deserves
There are women out there who love negotiating. They get high off the rush of conversations back and forth, debating, strategizing and all-out brawling for their right to equal pay. Then there are others, myself included, who lack the confidence to really gauge how far the employer will up the raise, let alone even consider asking for it.
Some women take the first offer based on fear of not getting the job. Others don’t want to sound pushy or overbearing — basically playing into the gender disparities in communication.
If you feel my pain, you’re not alone. In reality, 60 percent of Millennial women don’t negotiate salary offers when getting a new job, according to a study by Levo, an organization aimed at fighting for women’s equal pay.
I’m sure many have heard the overused statistic stating women earn 77 percent of their male colleagues' salaries for the same amount of work done, with African American and Latina women suffering an even larger pay gap. According to national statistics, this gap has been around for decades and shows no sign of improving.
Well, we say no more. It's been over 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was enacted, so here’s a few reasons why you shouldn't feel bad asking for more:
1. It's better to be told "no" than to not ask at all.
The above headline was said by the ever-inspiring Chelsea Clinton. Her words may be frightening for some as it requires stepping out of your comfort zone and standing up to the big boss, but think of what you’re missing out on if you don’t.
When starting a new job, 83 percent of women agree they should ask for more, yet only 41 percent actually do, the Levo study noted. When biting the bullet to ask for a raise just remember: Believe in your self-worth. You are providing your employer with a valuable skill set and deserve to be compensated for it.
Women make up nearly half our workforce, we deserve to be treated as equal counterparts to men.
2. Scared of playing politics? It’s all part of the game.
Let's circle back to that “don’t want to seem too pushy” thing. Employers understand a lot more about the negotiating game than you do and often feed off naiveté. This is where men thrive and women back down, as men often tend to be more assertive than women.
In fact, a 2014 experiment by the University of Texas found women asked for an average of $7,000 less than men. But interestingly enough, they ended up asking for the same amount as the men when the test called for negotiating on behalf of another female friend.
This study sums it up: Make sure you're relaxed and in the zone when duking it out with your employer. Know your worth and understand you are playing the game, too. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
3. Don’t be afraid you won’t get the job if you ask for more.
A common negotiating tactic with some HR employees is to make potential hires feel like their offer could be rescinded if they don’t take the salary at face value. Don’t give into the pressure, as 58 percent of women tend to do.
To finally be able to block out that fear of losing a great job is to understand you were hired for a reason, because you are awesome at your job. Women are increasingly taking on leadership roles at major corporations and according to Amy Poehler (who knows everything), “It’s never over-reaching to ask for what you want and need.”
4. Negotiating now will prepare you for your future as a #BOSSLADY.
Like your mama always annoyingly says, practice makes perfect. If you put all your efforts into negotiating now as a young working professional, by the time you reach senior-level status, you’ll be making twice as much as the woman, or man, who kept their mouth shut.
To quote another genius, Tina Fey, “Bitches get stuff done.”