As Black women’s recovery from the pandemic continues to lag and the job market remains hot, there is an opportunity to increase the salaries of working women and close the pay gap. This year Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 19, 50 days later than in 2020 because Black women earned even less because of the pandemic.
Whether you’re negotiating for a new position or a salary increase at your current job, these five tips can help you get the pay you deserve. There are a lot of reasons you might want to negotiate your salary at a job: you’ve taken on new responsibilities, inflation, your growth and wins in your role. Or you may have discovered a coworker with a similar role is paid more than you are. It can be intimidating to initiate the conversation with your boss, but asking for a pay increase can demonstrate your value and increase your pay.
On average, Black women lose a million dollars to the wage gap, many times losing out on pay during the negotiation process. Here are some tips for negotiating for what you deserve.
Research is critical when preparing to ask your supervisor for a raise. Be sure to incorporate research on the positions you are applying for and their average pay, the average pay at the companies you’re applying at, and the average pay for similar roles in similar industries. This will help you determine a ballpark figure of where you should be. Having this information will help you be prepared for future conversations.
If you know the salary range for a position or are confident in the range you determined during your research, aim for the higher end! For example: If you know the range for a position is $60,000 – $80,000, aim for the higher end, but know the minimum you would settle for. If you would be happy with $75,000, you can try to ask for $80,000 and they may accept that or offer less. When you’re asking for a specific salary amount, it can be helpful to outline your research and prior job experience as reasons for coming up with a salary amount.
DON’T ACCEPT RIGHT AWAY
When you successfully get an offer, you don’t have to answer right away! Accepting an offer can be incredibly emotional, stressful, exciting, and daunting. You have the power in that moment to pause, thank them for the offer, and ask for some time to consider. This will allow you some time to review the entire compensation package – including the medical benefits, paid time off (PTO) package, and other perks – and determine if this is the right fit for you. If it just isn’t enough, know your worth and ask for more, using your research to back up your ask.
CONSIDER OTHER FORMS OF COMPENSATION
Your paycheck isn’t everything – consider the amount of PTO, health insurance deductibles and monthly premium costs, education opportunities, and retirement contributions before accepting. If the pay isn’t negotiable – would you change any of these? Sometimes these can be enhanced to fit your needs.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO
Knowing your worth also means being willing to walk away from negotiations. If a company is purposefully lowballing, it is not treating you with the respect and value you deserve. If you’re negotiating with your current workplace, it might be time to start looking elsewhere.
READY TO GET MORE IN-DEPTH?
Check out this training from 9to5 GA for more!