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negotiating gender wage gap

The Gender Wage Gap: Negotiating for Increased Salaries and Benefits

There’s no denying there still exists a gender wage gap in America, and women know it all too well. Many folks have been trying to raise awareness to correct the issue for years. Yet, still, it persists.

Luckily, there are some strategies that can help women combat gender inequality in the workplace. We’ve also got some negotiation tips as well that can aid in requesting higher salaries and more adequate benefits.

The Gender Wage Gap as a Persistent Setback

Last month, Hired, Inc. released their fourth annual “The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace” report. The findings were unsurprising – and also still somewhat disappointing.

The report showed that 60% of the time, men are offered higher salaries than women for the same roles at the same companies. Additionally, 61% of the time, women asked for lower salaries than their male counterparts. Worse still, 41% of the time companies were only interviewing men for certain roles.

Granted, there were improvements over last years numbers, there’s still a long way to go to close the gap.

Unease in Discussing Salaries

It doesn’t help that while both women and men are uncomfortable discussing their salary history, it’s worse for women. Around 60% of women feel that questions regarding salary history shouldn’t be asked in a job interview. Gee, we wonder why – could it possibly have to do with the gender wage gap?

The Dangers of Avoiding Negotiations

Women are also less likely to negotiate when it comes to compensation. Studies have shown that while men are often offered higher salaries than equally-qualified women, many women simply don’t negotiate. Instead, most tend to accept their employer’s initial offer.

What this suggests is that if you don’t ask for a higher salary, you won’t get it. The majority of employers, unfortunately, aren’t going to go out of their way to address gender inequality.

How to Negotiate Like a Pro

Now that you know what you’re up against, you likely are realizing the importance of negotiation. That means you need to prepare yourself.

First, do your homework – find out the salary range for the position you want in your specific field. This way, you’ll have an idea of what’s reasonable and can shoot down low-ball offers.

Next, you’ll need to be ready to prove your worth. Yes, you’ll likely have to work harder than your male counterparts, but these are technically tips anyone can use. Be prepared to show exactly why you deserve the salary for which you’re negotiating. That means having hard facts you can present like figures, charts, or lists of accomplishments.

The Importance of Negotiations

Most employers really do expect prospective employees to attempt to engage in negotiations when interviewing for a position. However, most also try to avoid negotiating if at all possible.

Often, hiring managers and interviewers may imply they’re already offering the highest salary they can conceivably give you. Don’t believe it.

Don’t ever assume that the first offer you receive is the best (or the only) offer you’ll receive. Instead, regardless of how much you want the job, it’s also important that you get paid fairly.

Everything is Negotiable

Not only should you negotiate for a good salary, you should also take benefits into account as well. Sometimes you may hear that a company’s compensation package isn’t negotiable, but this often isn’t true.

In addition to getting an acceptable salary, you should also be able to discuss bonuses, time off, and other benefits.

You may not always get everything you want or exactly what you request. However, it’s important not to simply settle without first gritting your teeth and asking for what you believe you deserve.

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