Career Advice, Salaries, Salary Transparency

Facing a Pay Gap? 6 Salary Negotiation Tips to get the Salary You Deserve

Salary Negotiation

Glassdoor recently released the Glassdoor Global Gender Pay Gap Survey, which reveals employee perceptions of the gender pay gap across seven countries including the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Switzerland. The survey found that an overwhelming majority (89 percent) of employed adults in the seven countries believe that men and women should be paid equally for similar work and experience levels, including 93 percent of U.S. adults. Interestingly, it turns out that 7 in 10 employed adults in seven countries believe men and women are paid equally for equal work at their employer although it’s no surprise that fewer women than men believe people are paid fairly.

But how do we really know what’s fair? The truth is, it can be hard unless you and your coworkers are openly sharing paycheck stubs or your employer is publishing pay data. Both are extremely rare.

As a woman who has been working more than 20 years in corporate and consulting roles, I’ve had my share of negotiations around compensation. These have been guided by advice I received very early in my career – from a male mentor, who told me to never be afraid to ask for what I felt I deserved and never wait for someone else to make it happen. He warned compensation is one area where patience doesn’t typically pay off.

Unsure whether you are being paid fairly? Use these salary negotiation tips to help with discussing starting pay, raises and everything in between.

6 Salary Negotiation Tips to Help Battle the Gender Pay Gap

Tip 1 – Do your homework

A little data goes a long way when it comes to salary negotiations. Before you enter in to a conversation about your starting salary or negotiating a raise, make sure you know exactly what others in your role, in your city, and if possible, even at your company make. Sites like Glassdoor can help you assess what you should be making, based on what everyone else is reporting. If you uncover a gap between what you are making and what you believe you should be making, compile the data to build a strong argument about your own compensation.

Tip 2 – Always negotiate

Remember an offer is an offer and very few employers expect you to take the first one out of the gate. So, come to the table expecting to negotiate. Don’t just ask for more, but do so intelligently, with real numbers to support your argument. Use your research to put together a case for more base salary or a signing bonus because if you don’t ask, you most definitely won’t get it. And, as I know from being an employee and a hiring manager, it is always easier negotiate as you are going in to a new job.

Tip 3 – Leverage internal moves

A new role in your company also provides a great negotiation opportunity. If you are considering a promotion or new job with your current employer, don’t buy the argument management’s hands are tied, and pay growth is capped. Use market data to lay out what it would cost the company to try and hire off the street, and ask for it. You will likely find resistance, but be firm in your stance. Chances are you will end up with more than you otherwise would, and earn the respect of making a data-driven argument for your worth. A friend of mine just saw this play out as she was offered a sizable promotion with considerably more responsibility – yet just an 8 percent raise because of arbitrary pay caps. Internal and other market data suggested she should be making 20-25 percent more. When her initial counter offer was denied, she decided to decline the promotion. Within 48 hours, management came back and met her request.

Tip 4 – Take your pay pulse regularly

In business, and in life, things change. It’s important to stay abreast of your current market value and if you discover you’re behind the market for your experience in your role, ask for a raise. Don’t just assume it will work itself out. If you are not getting what you’re worth, you need to speak up. The more data you have to support your request the better. Instead of just assuming you will be taken care of, make sure to take care of it yourself.

Tip 5 – Ask your company where they stand

Does your employer have a stance on equal pay for equal work? If not, why not? Ask the question if you’re not sure. Pay equality can be complex for companies to evaluate, but it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. More than 1,700 employers have taken the pay equality pledge on Glassdoor; if your company isn’t one of them, it’s time to ask why.

Tip 6 – Keep your eyes and ears open

The wage gap issue isn’t going away quickly enough, so if you aren’t yielding results from your current employer, it might be time to consider a move. Finding a company that values and equitably rewards anyone and everyone is possible.

Ultimately, it’s hard to get anywhere unless you’re willing to do the work, so whether you’re negotiating salary with your current company or for a new opportunity, rinse and repeat the steps above to negotiate the compensation you deserve. If we all are mindful of the gaps, hopefully we can help do our personal part to close them.