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Women Salary Negotiation (10 Tips For 2022)

Negotiating a salary can be uniquely challenging for women. This guide will help you project confidence and earn your true worth.
by Rob Gillham | Sep 24 2022

Even when job level, preferences, and family leave are taken into account, the gender wage gap still exists. In addition to existing gender differences in labor market outcomes, gender differences in salary negotiations may also play a significant role. 

Salary negotiations aren’t easy, and they can be particularly difficult for women. According to research conducted over the past two decades, women are less likely to ask for more money when offered a job and more likely to stay at lower-paying jobs. There are a variety of reasons for this reluctance, but some include feeling uncomfortable discussing salaries and being hesitant to ask for more.

In terms of negotiating, women face some unique challenges, beginning with the fact that when we do it, we are often seen as unlikeable. Additionally, women have a tendency to underestimate their professional values and have often been socialized to avoid assertiveness in the workplace, which is essential to negotiating successfully. You need to be extra prepared to negotiate because of these obstacles. We’ll show you how to negotiate a salary in 2022 with tips and examples.

Women Salary Negotiation Tips 

1. Value Yourself

In order to avoid being perceived as too demanding, some women play down their confidence, but many women underestimate their worth in the first place. Before starting your negotiations, it’s incredibly important that you research similar salaries that already exist for your position. Either in the same company, or in similar roles in competitors. You can use the market average as a basis for your salary request and even justify it.

2. Make A List Of  Your Accomplishments

Your contribution to your workplace should be quantified. Have you gone above and beyond in your role? Have you planned successful events? Have you trained new employees? Have you developed a presentation that others are now using? Whenever possible, quantify the results of your work. Don’t be afraid to put a dollar value on these accomplishments. You might find it helpful to answer the following question as you prepare your negotiation notes: Why are you deserving of a higher salary than what the employer is offering? Be as specific as possible when contacting the employer.

3. Make Sure You Bring Evidence 

Bring documentation to prove that you’re being underpaid rather than relying on memory or simply trusting your boss. In this case, you may want to print out the salary information you found on Glassdoor if you feel you’re being paid less than the market rate. An email thread about your last workplace achievement might be helpful if you think you deserve a raise based on merit. Evidence of your value can be found in this documentation.

4. Enhance Your Performance 

If your boss has given you feedback about your work, use it to demonstrate progress. Improve your skills based on the feedback, then follow up to make a case for your raise. As a result, you’re focusing on your value – and what’s in it for your employer.

5. Being Assertive Is Key

An article published in the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology in 2016 found that agreeable women are compensated less than unagreeable women. Changing their agreeableness for assertiveness, however, can make them seem unlikeable and demanding. Women often have difficulty being assertive, but they must also be assertive to negotiate.

It is important to differentiate between confidence, which is an appreciation of one’s own abilities and qualities, and arrogance, which is an exaggerated sense of one’s importance. Having a lack of confidence can also result in over-explaining or apologizing for your request, neither of which is helpful in a negotiation. Rather, state your salary request confidently and simply, including a brief explanation of your reasoning. Don’t forget that you bring a wealth of skills and experience to the organization. Employers should pay employees based on their value to the company. You should be confident in your decision to ask for more if you feel that the employer’s original offer is below the value aligned with your skills and experiences. Provide market salary and personal value data that supports your claim.

6. Have A Backup Plan

In addition to salary, you can negotiate paid time off, remote work days, 401(k) matching, and other benefits. In addition to researching your total compensation package, you should also be prepared to counter with something other than money. If you want to revisit your rate later, you can always ask.

7. Don’t Be Inflexible 

The employer may be able to offer you other forms of compensation even if they cannot provide you with the salary amount you want. To avoid long commutes, you may be able to negotiate additional vacation days, a sign-on bonus, or additional work-from-home days. In the event that the employer immediately tells you that they can’t increase your salary, ask for alternatives. The value of these skills may be just as high (or even greater) than the value of a paycheck in some cases.

8. Be Grateful 

After applying and interviewing for the position, you might have invested a lot of time and energy in the hiring process. Employers have also invested time in the process, so it’s important you acknowledge their efforts and thank them. Tell the employer why you’re excited about the job, such as its culture or its products. It is important to decline the offer professionally and in a friendly manner. It is impossible to predict what opportunities might come your way in the future.

9. Practice 

Practicing the conversation you’ll have with the hiring manager with a friend or mentor may seem overkill to some, but it’s a good idea. Your ideal partner should be someone from the corporate world who can help you project confidence and answer unexpected questions. If you practice your delivery several times before the salary discussion, you are more likely to feel confident.

10. Revisit The Conversation At A Later Time

Be prepared to ask for an opportunity to revisit the conversation whether you’ve been rejected for a starting salary or a raise. Don’t just leave it at that – ask what skills or milestones you’ll need to reach to meet your salary goals and when would be a good time to reassess. Get a written confirmation if possible.

For further reading on the tricky art of salary negotiation, check our article here for more examples and words of wisdom. 


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