By Lindsey Shepardson
In 2016, women working full-time in the United States were paid just 80 percent of what men were paid. Although the gender wage gap has narrowed since the 1970s due to women’s progress in education and workforce participation, the closing of the gender wage gap has stalled in recent years.
The City of Boston aims to become the first city to close the gender wage gap by using a multi-pronged approach. As part of this approach, the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement has partnered with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to offer free salary negotiation workshops. On October 26th, the Junior League of Boston hosted one of these workshops to train members with the skills to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. In this workshop, JL Boston members learned how to create a strategic pitch and respond to salary offers.
Knowing your value is the first step in preparing a good pitch that summarizes your accomplishments, skills, and work experiences in a brief and persuasive speech. It is important to remember that the pitch should be less than 30 seconds, your skills should be clear, and there should be a goal or ask.
To establish a goal or ask, research a target salary and benefits by assessing the market. The AAUW recommends using Salary.com to compare similar job descriptions and salaries based on company reported data. In determining a target salary, look at the salary range from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile and consider your value and experience for the job.
Once you have established a goal or ask, identify a “bolstering range” using the target salary as the bottom of the range. The “bolstering range” should be 10 to 20 percent higher than the target salary. Next, determine a resistance point for the lowest salary that you would be willing to accept and still reach an agreement with the employer. Be prepared to start the ask at the top of your “bolstering range” and negotiate down to your resistance point. The value of benefits should be factored into your ask. Also, sometimes an increase in benefits may be more important than an increase in salary.
After creating a strategic pitch and assessing the market, find a friend and practice your pitch! Practice allows you to improve your abilities to be objective, persuasive, and strategic. The more you practice with others, the more assistance they can provide with positive and constructive feedback to improve your verbal and body language.
You know your value.
You know the market.
You have practiced.
Feel confident and ask for that higher salary!
The Junior League of Boston is dedicated to developing the potential of women, and more trainings are available to members throughout the year. Members can find the calendar and sign up here.