In a world where just being a woman can feel like an uphill battle, it’s time to equip with the skills to break through barriers. The gender pay gap is no longer a hidden issue, and history shows that women have often had to fight for everything they’ve achieved. Whether they are just starting out in the corporate world or climbing the ladder of success, negotiation skills are crucial. The struggle is real across all sectors.
For instance, recent estimates reported by the Economic Times, highlight the gender pay gap in the IT sector. As women progress in their careers, the pay gap widens significantly. It’s around 8-10% for junior management roles, but as women climb the corporate ladder, it balloons to a staggering 28-30%.
This disparity underscores the importance of mastering negotiation skills to ensure fair compensation and advancement opportunities. But why is it that women are not paid at par with their male counterparts?
Do Women Employees Not Negotiate?
Despite the prevailing belief, women actually negotiate for their salaries at rates comparable to or even higher than men. However, the existence of the gender pay gap highlights systemic issues that hinder their efforts.
Women often find themselves starting at a lower baseline salary than men, prompting them to negotiate in an attempt to close the gap. Unfortunately, these negotiations are frequently met with rejection or reluctance from employers, perpetuating the cycle of unequal pay.
There is a possibility that some women may not even initiate negotiations in the first place, potentially due to a combination of factors that hinder their ability to do so effectively.
Why Don’t Women Negotiate for their Salaries?
Fear of losing job security
Many women fear that speaking up about pay differences could put their jobs at risk. They worry that if they negotiate for better pay, they might not even get the job in the first place. This fear is especially strong in places where questioning authority isn’t welcome. They fear they might get sidelined if they ask for fair pay.
Pressure to be polite
Society expects women to be polite and agreeable. This can make them hesitant to ask for fair pay assertively. They worry about being seen as too aggressive if they push too hard. So, they might avoid negotiating altogether to avoid conflict.
Lots of women don’t feel very sure of themselves. They might think they’re not good enough or deserving of better pay. Society often tells them they’re not as capable as men, which makes them doubt themselves even more. This lack of confidence can make it hard for them to negotiate for fair pay.
In some cultures, women are expected to be submissive and not challenge authority. This can make it even harder for them to negotiate for better pay. They might feel like they’re not supposed to speak up or ask for more.
Lack of role models
If women don’t see other women negotiating for better pay or holding leadership positions, it can create a perception that these achievements are not attainable for them. Lack of representation in these roles can lead to feelings of isolation and self-doubt.
Limited access to information
Some women might not know enough about fair pay and how to negotiate for it. They might not have access to information about industry standards or negotiation tips. Without this knowledge, they might not feel confident enough to negotiate for better pay. It’s time to change that.
Here are the Best Negotiation Skills for Women
Researching market standards
Women should conduct research on salary ranges for their respective job roles within the industry. Utilizing online resources and salary surveys can provide valuable insights into pay scales. Seeking advice from mentors or experienced professionals can offer additional perspective on salary expectations.
It is important for women to recognize and highlight their achievements and contributions. Building confidence in expressing their value to the organization is crucial. Maintaining a positive and assertive demeanor during negotiation discussions can significantly impact outcomes.
Timing is the key
Understanding the significance of choosing appropriate moments to initiate salary discussions is essential, especially for women already established within a company. They should aim to align negotiation timing with key events such as performance evaluations or successful project completions. Women should avoid engaging in salary talks during periods of company uncertainty or instability to ensure a conducive negotiation environment.
Crafting a compelling case
Women should present a strong case for a salary increase based on their unique accomplishments. Emphasizing relevant skills, expertise, and contributions to the organization is key. Articulating how fair compensation aligns with company goals and values can strengthen their negotiation position.
Developing effective communication skills
Women should focus on using clear and confident communication during negotiation conversations. Practicing responses to potential objections or counteroffers can help build proficiency. Collaborative approaches that seek mutually beneficial solutions are encouraged.
Considering additional benefits
Exploring non-monetary benefits in addition to salary negotiations is important. Negotiating for flexible work arrangements, remote options, adequate maternity leaves, or professional development opportunities can enhance overall job satisfaction. Balancing both monetary and non-monetary aspects is important.
Anticipating and overcoming objections
Women should anticipate potential objections from employers and prepare persuasive responses accordingly. Demonstrating flexibility and willingness to find compromises can facilitate positive negotiation outcomes.
Seeking support from mentors or advocates
Seeking guidance from mentors or advocates experienced in negotiation can provide valuable insights. Building a supportive network within the organization for advice and encouragement is beneficial. Leveraging the experiences of others can help develop effective negotiation strategies.
While women are actively striving to narrow the gender pay gap through negotiation and advocacy for fair compensation, it is equally imperative for companies to play their part. Corporations must reconsider their structures to promote gender equality by actively encouraging women into leadership positions, offering upskilling opportunities, and sensitizing the workspace to diverse perspectives.
Moreover, raising awareness of the challenges faced by women in India and implementing inclusive policies are essential steps in fostering a more equitable work environment. By working together, both women and companies can contribute to closing the gender pay gap and creating a more just and inclusive society.
At Kelp, we firmly believe that cultivating safe, happy and inclusive work environments serves as the foundation for business transformation and expansion and the quest to get equality and fairness for women in domestic as well as work enviroments is important for achieving them.
Kelp was incorporated in 2013 to provide the best solutions to organizations to improve workplace culture across the board. Over the last 10 years, we have serviced more than 700 clients in India and a few overseas, across various industries in the areas of PoSH (prevention of sexual harassment at workplace), EAP and D, E & I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion). But the common objective of all these services is to build safer, happier, inclusive and productive workplaces.
For our services related to Prevention of Sexual Harassment (PoSH), Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (D,E &I)or Employee Assistance programs (EAP) do get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call +91-95001-29652 and we’d be able to help you with customized offerings suited to your organization.