In a study cited by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of Women Don’t Ask, if a woman doesn’t push to ask for more money in her first job, she stands to lose more than $500,000 by the time she reaches age 60.
Ever hear of Lily Ledbetter?
She is the face of the bill called the Lily Ledbetter Act signed by the U.S. President Obama to demand for equal pay for equal work.
Ledbetter’s entire career was plagued by the realization that she did exactly the same job as the men she worked with, but for much less money.
She was paid $3,727 per month as a supervisor, while the lowest paid male area manager received $4,286 per month, the highest paid, $5,236.
The difference is between $559 to $1509 per month, or $6708 to $18,108 per year.
I will acknowledge it is partly her doing for not negotiating which can be explained by the fact that women have entered the workforce not too long ago, and this is all new to them.
You can’t really force mercenary profit-making companies to care about paying fair wages if you don’t ask for them. They don’t care if they can save money by making you do the same job for less money.
Today, women have no excuse to NOT ask for more money.
ASK FOR MORE MONEY GODDAMNIT!
DON’T BE SHY IN ASKING — SEPARATE YOUR WORK FROM YOUR LIFE
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ASK FOR MONEY even if you sound arrogant to yourself.
“Women are more willing to compromise and want to be agreeable and non-combative.”
[…Saying] “I’m very excited about the offer, but given my experience compared with what you are seeking in a candidate, I was actually hoping for $10K more than what was offered.”
A male counterpart will cut to the chase, saying, “That’s much too low. I was looking for $90K and you won’t find someone with better qualifications than mine.”
Don’t “hope”. Ask. Demand, if you must.
If you are really worth that money, and deep down you know your qualifications speak for you, then stick to your guns.
Separate your emotions from your work.
You aren’t there to be best friends with your boss (it’s also a trick companies use so that as a “friend” you don’t ask for more money).
You are there to trade your brain, your manual labour, your time and energy, for money.
Always. Ask. For. More. Money.
Never take the first offer at face value.
What’s the worst that could happen? They tell you that they can’t budge and you still have a shot at getting the job for what they offered it for?
Or that you find another better paying job?
The other thing to keep in mind is that they could very well be sexist and trying, knowing full well that many women are not risk-takers who would tell a company to keep their jobs and they’d look for something that was paying them a fair salary.
When Sue Thirlwall, CEO of Miniluxe […] was a newly minted Harvard MBA, she discovered some life-altering information.
“I learned that male MBAs were getting paid $5,000 more than I was.” Though she’d negotiated her best to be at parity with the guys, the firm that made her an offer wouldn’t budge.
“They were adamant,” she recalls, “despite the fact that [being slightly older] I had significantly more management and leadership experience.”
As a result, Thirlwall believes she was behind in compensation because she accepted the lower starting salary.
If you have done your research and you KNOW what is fair, be tougher. They’ve already offered you the job because they like you. They’re just trying to get a deal.
If not, you’ll always be $5000 – $10,000 behind the starting line at every job you’re at.
If you need to stand in the mirror and negotiate with yourself, or practice a speech, by all means DO IT.
Just don’t chicken out when it comes to your yearly review or at the start of a new job.