— July 4, 2018
It is no secret that there is a pay discrepancy between men and women at the executive level. The more forward-thinking, imaginative companies have tried to address it, but not every company is prepared to divert the time and resources needed to address the issue.
The issue is also complex. So the idea behind this article is to provide actionable tips on how you can take control of your career and get paid what you’re worth both at the interview level and when you go for promotion.
Negotiating a Higher Salary at Interview or Promotion
Women tend to be more agreeable than men and men more aggressive than women. Although that makes us lovelier it tends to harm us when we apply for promotion or go for a job. Indeed, big companies have reported that side notes on application forms from women such as “By the way, I have never actually worked in this role before”, are common. If this sounds like something you would write it is time to rethink.
As a woman, it is important to think a bit more on the lines of men. Never apologize for being a woman or showing an interest in a role or promotion. You don’t need to and it shows you in a better light to be confident in your abilities and ready to discuss terms or give an interview as an equal. You didn’t apply for the role or go for the promotion unless you thought you could do the job.
Your task now is not to say sorry but to show you can do it.
Research the job role
Once you’ve secured an interview now is the time to research the role and ascertain how much the role is worth. You can use a number of sources to get the salary figure such as Payscale and Glassdoor. Perhaps a more accurate figure is discovered by searching the job role in the same location as the company that is interviewing you. Many employers pay similar rates to those around them. Average national figures tend to be misleading.
The same is said for promotion. It could be you already have an idea how much is going to be offered to you. Knowing what local competitors pay for similar positions gives you a bargaining chip to negotiate.
Bring the Evidence of your Success
When you enter the interview or indeed when it comes to promotion have the evidence of your success with you. Anything that is official that shows you in a positive light is excellent for this process. Official figures that show an increase in sales or productivity, accident rates dropping, anything that can be easily shown is gold dust.
Hard numbers make good arguments especially when it comes to promotion.
Think Bonuses and Benefits
When you negotiate it is not just salary that can make the package more appealing. Bonuses and other benefits can give you the incentives you need to get to work to and do a great job. Sometimes the baseline salary is not up for negotiation, bonuses and benefits are often a different deal entirely.
Asking for a Better Salary
There is an art to asking for a better salary and it is a good idea to become familiar with it. Rather than saying something like “that is too low”, maybe ask “Is there any flexibility in compensation?” This opens a discussion and is not confrontational. It gives you a chance to present your evidence including what you have found about competitors.
If there is no wriggle room, no benefits and the compensation is too low, it is time to excuse yourself from the interview politely. No point in wasting each other’s time any longer and you do not want to undersell your skills and abilities.
If you are going for a promotion, then you will have to consider if the experience in the role will open doors elsewhere, and is the extra responsibility worth taking the role at a salary which is considerably lower than want.
A tough question.
Final thoughts on Pay Negotiating Tactics for Women
Considering how competitive executive work is it is a good idea to fine-tune your leadership skills. This will not only help you land interviews and promotions, but it will also help you in your day to day work. This will build your confidence and help you excel.