Negotiating Salary: Men vs. Women

Our country’s regrettable wage gap between men and women is accompanied by a gap in how we negotiate our salaries. The reality is, women are less likely to negotiate.

Experts say the best time to negotiate your salary is once you’ve received a job offer — but before you’ve accepted it. When it comes to that practice, 36% of men say they’ve tried this, compared to just 26% of women, according to a survey by Salary.com.

So why don’t we negotiate more? Well, most find it to be an unpleasant experience and feel uncomfortable asking for more money, especially in our still unstable economic climate. But there’s a gender gap even in terms of discomfort with the process. Men are apprehensive about negotiating their salary to the tune of 39%. That number jumps to 55% in women. Now it’s important to note that many things contribute to the gender wage gap. For example, analysis has shown that occupations that women tend to dominate usually are lower paying. But when all factors are considered, men still earn about 9% more than women.

Whether you’re male or female, it’s necessary to negotiate your salary if it doesn’t match the value you bring to your job.  As the saying goes, you don’t get what you deserve; you get what you negotiate. I’ve written previously on tips for earning more. Here are a few more:

Time Your Negotiation

As mentioned previously, the best time to negotiate is after you’ve received a job offer but before you’ve accepted. This is your blank slate moment. It’s when your employer has made clear that they want you aboard so the ball is in your court when it comes to determining what it’ll take for you to accept the offer. Now, if you’ve been at your job for a while, experts say the occasion of your employee evaluation is a great point to request a raise. Your employer will naturally be reflecting on your performance and added value to the company.

Do Your Homework

It makes sense that, before you throw a number out there, you have some idea of what’s common in your industry. Find out what people in your position make and how much you stand to earn over the course of your career. Glassdoor and PayScale are just two sites that offer free salary reports for a number of positions. Armed with this information – whether you’re male or female, but especially if you’re female – you can recognize when you’re being lowballed and correct it by requesting more.

Don’t Be Nervous

Finally, it may be nerve-wracking to negotiate your salary but it’s necessary – and employers expect you to. Remember that everything is negotiable and consider your role in the process is to give your employer as much information as possible to arrive at compensation that reflects your value.

Photo Courtesy, Victor1558.

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