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3 Steps Women Can Take to Get Paid What They Deserve

Part of what makes the recruiting field exciting is that it’s constantly changing. As recruiters, we are always adjusting strategies to address an ever-evolving labor market, the introduction of new jobs and industries, and the integration of high-tech tools to source candidates, stock talent pools, and fill positions. 

At the same time, there are issues that seem to persist, year after year, sometimes decade after decade – and not all of them positive. One of those is the inequity in salaries that men and women receive for doing the same job. The pay gap is well-documented, and while we’ve seen some strides in recent years, there is still much to be done to even the scales.

Unfortunately, it’s not always the system that’s to blame. Too often, women are contributing to pay inequity by failing to negotiate properly.

Women professionals must stop settling on pay

It’s not uncommon for women to take less money as a way to “get their foot in the door.” Or, for them to change jobs with lateral pay. Neither makes sense, and as professionals, women should not tolerate either of those options. It’s time for women to stop settling when it comes to salaries.

In the same regard, women need to stop trusting that an employer will be “fair” when it comes to setting a salary. Remember, employers are in business to make a profit; they will pay as little as they can.

And the worst thing about a woman accepting less money? Not only have you unwittingly set yourself up to make less throughout your career, but you may also be negatively impacting other women striving to be paid accordingly as they advance their careers.

3 steps to achieving pay equity

The good news is that there are ways to change this narrative. Here are three steps a woman professional should take to negotiate the best salary.

1) Be confident. When discussing salary requirements, the first words out of your mouth should not be, “I’m negotiable.” Rather, know what you want to make and ask for it confidently. And, as in any negotiation, shoot for a figure higher than what you want. Once a number is on the table, it’s always easier to negotiate downward than to move it higher.

2) Do your homework. Before asking for a certain salary, know what the market rate is for that position. You might also do some research on how difficult the role is to fill; the law of supply and demand may factor into your salary request. Being able to present these facts to an employer will help support your case.

3) Ask for what you’re worth. In addition to market factors, the intangibles you bring to a position are invaluable. Highlight your education, your experience, and your accomplishments. If you’ve been a high achiever, the market rate for a particular position may not be enough – and if it’s not, don’t be afraid to ask for more. 

Women are increasingly taking on more responsibility in the workplace, and their salaries should reflect that. The first step to getting there is learning how to negotiate effectively on your own behalf. Need some advice and counsel? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started!

About the Author

Miriam Dushane

Miriam Dushane, Managing Partner

Miriam is all in when it comes to doing whatever she can to help the Capital District grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping talented professionals find the right job and her work in the community is focused on furthering our area as a center of economic vitality. Miriam likes to garden and care for her pets. She is a member of an adult-only skate group where she rollerblades every week. She loves the Mets! And she is obsessed with vacuum cleaners; she really likes to vacuum and has 6 right now.