Salary negotiation is a partial solution to the gender pay gap, yet many women struggle with making the ask for more money, flexibility, or opportunity. We caught up with a few corporate professionals and women entrepreneurs for their best negotiation tips.
Nathalie Cazeau, Recruiter, Capstone Hill Search Limited
Women have so much to offer, yet we always find ourselves hesitant to talk about our worth and values when it comes to negotiating, which hurts us in the long run. When offered a salary, don’t be afraid to present a counteroffer, especially if the one offered is not between 15% to 20% above your current salary. Have a range in mind, but always seek a salary offer at the top of the range. For instance, if you’re seeking a salary of $75,000, don’t propose a range of $70,000- $75,000, because the employer will most likely lowball you.
Jennifer (Young) McNeil, Project Manager, PulseLearning Global
While I was interviewing and hiring as a project manager at Computer Sciences Corp. and C2 Technologies, I was always disappointed when a woman would accept the first offer I made. In my experience, men never accepted the first offer. I always had at least another $2,000 a year or so I could offer a candidate, without even going back to my boss for approval. Or I could agree to a one-time hiring bonus. Or maybe your clincher is an additional vacation. Don’t be afraid to ask. No one withdraws an offer because you asked for more!
You will never catch up if you don’t start on even footing. Ask for a raise when you’ve earned it. Twice I was given pseudo-promotions—the kind with more responsibility, but no job title or salary increase. The first one, I refused to take until I got the title. If I were moving from being the programmer to the supervisor, I would have the supervisor title or no deal. Responsibilities without authority never work well. The second time, after proving I could do the job, I asked for the raise I’d earned.
Vallicia Lowe, Business Technology Delivery Manager at Accenture
As a consultant, I work with clients in different locations. Last year I had the opportunity to work on my first project away from home. I have a 3-year-old daughter, so I couldn’t see myself being away from her for so long. Since every client must sit down with the consultant prior to the start of the project, I decided to do an early breakfast meeting. Initially, we discussed our experiences and some of her daily concerns in her role, basically what keeps her up at night. I asked what their immediate needs were and long-term plans for their future development. I made it very clear how I could help, my only concern was being away from home. I asked would it be possible for the company to provide corporate housing rather than a hotel. The client understood and I was able to live with my daughter in a beautiful luxury apartment around the corner from the office. It was the most liberating feeling in the world to stand up for myself and be able to effectively communicate my ability to meet my clients’ short-term and long-term needs.
I start the negotiation highlighting how I can support the business or organization and the added value I can provide outside of the scope of the role. Also highlighting how most businesses pay two people for the level of service you’re able to provide is helpful. If you can clearly relay a story on how you’ve accomplished this in the past, I believe it truly helps the client understand the value you add.
I’ve learned to have to faith in the biblical saying, “You have not because you ask not.” Meaning, if you don’t ask you’ll never know what you could’ve received.