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Does The Gender Pay Gap Influence How Women Negotiate Salary?


Whether it’s a common misconception or there’s, in fact, something to ist: Critics often cite women’s bad salary negotiation skills as part of the cause for the current Gender Pay Gap. Women negotiate salary wrongly, they say. And what’s more, several scientists and researches often add fuel to the fire, confirming that women, generally speaking, rely to much on the idea that their sole performance on the job would lead to being offered a raise or a fair salary. According to the hints from these studies, women often act too defensive, too shy, too insecure, when it comes to negotiating a just salary.

Preparation Tips For A Salary Negotiation For Women

Now, whether or not you consider the allegedly worse negotiation skills of women a valid reason for the Gender Pay Gap, one thing is true: there are gender-related differences when it comes to salary negotiations. These are, for one, rooted in the way, women are educated — because they are still unconsciously expected to be rather modest and obedient. On the other hand, negotiating your salary as an employee and a freelance worker alike, puts you in some kind of a supplicant position which makes lots of women uncomfortable.

It’s this exact timidity that we need to overcome.

However, this does not mean that women should act like men when negotiating salary. Quite the contrary, actually. If women negotiate salary in a too manly manner, this demeanor might backfire. That’s, because the collective consciousness consider self-confident, slightly brash women to be overrating themselves. This asks for us to sound out a happy medium. And preparation for a successful salary negotiation for women is the only right way to do this. FinMarie offers you a couple of tips on how to skillfully get your new salary entitlement across.

Talk Money And Compare Salaries

Before you get to elaborate your own performance on the basis of which you will later argue for a raise or a good salary, take the most essential step first: compare yourself to others. Gather information on officially common salaries in your working industry and your position — look out for potential different standards for men and women. (And go for the male standard!)

There are apps and websites where salaries can be objectively and impartially compared. As an alternative or rather in addition to this, exchange your income with male and female colleagues, friends, and family members. How does your salary vary in comparison to your friends’ and acquaintances’ in similar jobs? These information are a great indicator for you to set your own negotiation margin later.

Quiz Yourself To Get Started

This step to a better salary negotiation for women is slightly different for women who have been applying for a new job or are negotiating their first entry-level salary ever, and women who remain in their jobs within the same company.

If you’re starting a (new or first) job, you should, firstly, consider, how much money you would want to make. Then compare that sum with the sample salaries and customary average incomes you researched before. Next, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How realistic are my salary expectations, how realistically will I obtain it?
  • What’s my market value considering my education, professional experience, competitors?
  • Speaking of which: how do I generally compare to my competitors? How many of them are there?
  • How large is my negotiation scope? What’s the absolute minimum wage I’d agree upon?

If you find yourself in a salary negotiation for a consisting job, you should focus on your previous performance within the company and position. The questions you should answer yourself, should go something like this:

  • When has my last salary negotiation been? Does my income still represent my performance or field of responsibility?
  • Which measurable successes I could refer to have I achieved lately?
  • What are some of the entrepreneurial goals I have accomplished in recent past? In which way did that have a positive effect on my team, my department, maybe even the entire company?
  • What other tasks could I imagine to additionally undertake in exchange for a raise that would not necessarily involve a higher position?

These questions can come in handy when changing your employer altogether, too. Because, even if you have not had the possibility to prove your performance at the new company, you can most likely score with the new business naming accomplished goals and successfully executed projects from your last job.

Now, writing down the answers to these questions as bullet points and memorize them provide security and confidence, when women negotiate salary. Because wage negotiations are inevitable, if you look at women and finances in a holistic manner.

That’s How Much More Money You’re Entitled To

Talking to your friends and colleagues, as well as your research on officially common wages, already gave you an idea of how much (more) income you’re entitled to. Now it’s time to visualize these numbers once more. To what extent do they correspond to your own desired salary?

The next step poses the question, whether you prefer to join the negotiation with a specific salary expectation or rather a negotiation scope in mind? The advantage of negotiating a clear salary is that you give your employer less space to level down your expectation. A negotiation scope, on the other hands, allows you to negotiate more flexible and agile. Whatever approach you choose, remember to not undercut your personal pain point with the minimum limit. So, firstly, decide on how high your salary increase should at least be in order for you to be still able to consider it a successful wage negotiation in your book. And now you add about 5 % to that sum — no matter, if specific income or negotiation scope. With that number in view, you will later approach the negotiation. This leaves you enough range to leave the negotiation having obtained your originally desired raise, even if your employer tries to beat you down.

On average, you can easily aim at a 10 to 15 % raise (plus the just mentioned 5 % negotiation scope).

Practice Makes Perfect — And Self-Confident

When women negotiate salary, one of their biggest obstacles is their own insecurity along with the discomfort as a supplicant. The trick is to not regard yourself a supplicant, but instead allow yourself a shift in perspective: the notes you’ve collected during answering the questions above will help you out here. Your performances justify a higher salary, your loyalty to the company justify more money, and so does your area of responsibility.

Make yourself aware of these reasons. Voice them. Express your desired salary to yourself. This way, you can get used to the “high number” and it will come off more naturally, easily, and confidently, when you name it during the negotiation.

In general, confidence and boldness are important factors when it come to salary negotiation for women. They let you negotiate more determined and successful. So, grab a friend or your sister, your fiancee or another person you trust, and practice your negotiation in a role-play. Repeat it as often as you feel the need to, and vary several situations and outcomes. This way you can put your arguments to the test and receive constructive feedback.

Hold Your Counterarguments

Have your counterpart take on the role of a naysayer, too, while you practice. This way, you can exercise your response capacity to effectively steal your boss’s thunder.

In case he plays the internal reasons card to refuse your raise, hold other, non-monetary compensation possibilities ready: a couple more free days, entitlement to work from home, a company car, a sabbatical…

If your boss still rejects even the best of arguments, don’t show disappointment much. Rather, show him you’re willing to further improve. Ask him, what you would have to do to obtain raise and give it another shot in 6 months time.

At What Time Should Women Negotiate Salary?

There’s nothing wrong with striving for a raise after your first year on the job. For instance, the renewal of your contract would make for a great occasion to re-negotiate your income. This adds to your argumentation, too: if your boss wasn’t happy with your performance, he wouldn’t renew your contract in the first place, would he?

And obviously a job interview is always a good point in time to address your salary expectation.

Want to find out how to multiply your money beyond wage negotiation and salary increases? Then get personal tips from our experts who are more than happy to share their experience values with you. Book a free assessment and discover which investments and types of asset allocation suit your personality and economic situation best. FinMarie will happily help you with having your money work for you and to passively multiply it.

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