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It's time to stop being short changed

15 January 2016

Recently, I read an article about the statistics relating to the gender pay gap: “On average, full time working women’s earnings are 17.1% less per week than full time working men’s earnings (a difference that equates to $262.50 per week)”. That’s $13,650 per year, which is about $600,000 less over a woman’s career!

How can women be empowered to reduce or eradicate the gender pay gap? Negotiating their salary, of course! Why don’t we, as women, do that more? Women will negotiate on behalf of others, but not for themselves.

I was working with a client recently who, during the annual performance review process for salary increases, worked with HR to get the best result she could for the two high performers in her team – which she achieved for them. When she was advised of her own salary increase she was disappointed. She felt she deserved more, but she didn’t ask for it, she just accepted what she was offered! Women will accept less.

Another client shared a story with me during a coaching session about her experience in negotiating for a higher salary for a promotion. When the hiring manager advised her salary offer, she responded by telling them she was disappointed with the offer. She was offered a two percent increase. She was expecting at least an eight percent increase because the job role was a significant change in scope and scale. BUT, she accepted the additional two percent rather than continue to negotiate. Women resist negotiation.

Recent data from Fair Work Commission Australia Workplace Relations Study shows “nearly 20 percent of men have attained a better wage through negotiation, compared to just 12 percent of women”. So, how do we empower women to negotiate more? Practice negotiating in a safer environment. Negotiate for a low value transaction such as a discount for a shirt that is shop stained.

Do your homework. Review a recent salary survey so that you're using objective data for comparison.

Know your strengths. Identify the value you add to the organisation by highlighting your strengths and match your strengths to the needs of the organisation.

So often our salary does not reflect what we are worth! Is this the situation for you? Would you like this to change? Learning how to negotiate more effectively will make a difference to maximising your salary.

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