Last Friday, I attended an amazing workshop hosted by Nancy who is a career advisor at the Career Development Center at NEIU and Joanna who is the director of the NEIU Women’s Resource Center. The workshop is called “Start Smart” and it’s purpose is to raise awareness to women about how we can negotiate our salary when offered a job position. I found this workshop very important because I did not know that women were able to negotiate their salary when offered a job and I know that there are other women who might not that either.
The workshop was very enlightening because Nancy and Joanna explained the reason why there is a wage gap between women and men. The wage gap starts when women are typically offered a lower salary than her male counterpart for the same job position. Also, the gap continues to grow because when it is time to receive a raise, it is easier for a man to get a raise than a woman. A man is praised because he is starting a family and even gets a raise. On the other hand, when a woman is pregnant she is looked down upon and the employer will usually see that as a negative thing and of course, she is not given a raise.
When is comes to receiving a bonus, it consists of a percentage of the employees base salary. So if a woman’s base salary is lower than her male counterpart, then that means that her bonus will also be lower which also indicates that a woman will aways receive less money than her male counterpart. According to AAUW’s 2013 research report “Graduating to a Pay Gap” indicated that women college graduates will earn $1.2 million less over their careers than a male who is graduating with the same degree. Why do women have to earn $1.2 million dollars less? I would like my $1.2 million dollars and I am sure that every other woman does too! Although fighting against the wage gap might sound as if women were fighting over money, it is not true. The purpose of fighting against the wage gap is about establishing equality for women and men.
It is very important to know that although an employer might offer you a job, the salary that is being offered to you is most likely the lowest amount. However, it is also important to note that a salary negotiation can only happen if you are offered a job position by the employer. It is important for women to be prepared and know their rights so when they are offered a job, we can be confident to ask for time to think about it and determine whether or not the offered salary reflects what your job position is worth.
A resource that was presented at the workshop was Wage Project. This is an amazing website where you can benchmark your salary and it even shows you by areas around the country. I think that all women should use this resource because sometimes you could be surprised at how different the salary you are being offered to the one your position is actually worth. Also, it is important to use a resource like this one because while negotiating a salary, we have to be sure that we are going for a reasonable number and not a number that is way higher or lower. If you are a woman who just graduated college with very little experience in the field, it is probably more appropriate to do for maybe not the lowest number but possibly a bit higher.
Some few tips that are recommended to follow while negotiating a salary is to be positive. You need to be persuasive about articulating your value to the employer and use your research to show interest in the position. Also be flexible in terms of listening to the employer’s needs and brainstorming about your own goals and needs. You should also never be the first one to name a salary figure. If the application requires you to fill that portion out you can write something like “Salary is negotiable” or “I expect to be paid fairly”.
Benefits are also an important thing to look at when you are looking for a new job. Everyone has different needs so not all benefits such as insurance plans are a good fit for everyone. Looking at the benefits and choosing a job that provides the benefits that are fit for you is very important. So now, I hope everyone has learned a thing or two. If you are a woman and are graduating soon take a look at how much your intended job positions are worth so you can be better prepared for when you have a job offer. Also, if you are already working in the your field you can still take a look at what your current position is worth. You may possibly surprised that you are currently getting paid way less than what your are suppose to be getting paid. If that is the case, do your research and demand your equal pay!