One of the BIG things I get so excited about when working with clients 1:1 or in Rise! Leadership Development programme is how important it is to ALWAYS ask for more when it comes to negotiating your starting salary when you get offered the job. Or the promotion.
Yes, there is a gender pay gap. And yes, consultants like me, are working closely with technology and cybersecurity companies to close that gender pay gap. However every individual can and should take personal responsibility and ownership for protecting their career from falling foul of the gender pay gap.
So today I want to share my Triple A Plan to protect your career from the gender pay gap.
The Triple A Plan to protect your career from the gender pay gap
The reason it’s so important that you tackle the pay gap and your salary when you start in a new job is because whatever starting salary you get, that WILL affect your future salary, future pay rises, bonuses and therefore your pension pot too, because these are typically calculated as a percentage of your salary.
Though the Triple A Plan is not just for when you start a new job. It’s about tackling the gender pay gap throughout your career.
Let’s get started.
ASK FOR MORE
Part 1 of the Triple A Plan is to ALWAYS ASK FOR MORE.
I already mentioned how your starting salary in a new job or when you’ve been promoted affects how much you earn in the future AND how much you have available when you retire because typically pension contributions are based on a percentage of your salary.
Let’s take a simple example.
Assume that you start a new job at £50,000 per year and your co-worker starts at £60,000. Let’s assume a 10% pay increase the next year plus a 10% bonus. So next year you earn £55,000 with a £5,500 bonus totalling £60,500. Whereas your co-worker will earn £66,000 plus £6,600 bonus = £72,600.
Straight away you see how quickly the gap is opening up.
Do women negotiate less often? Yes absolutely and there are numerous studies to support this. For example Robert Half published a survey in 2018.
They surveyed more than 2,700 workers employed in the US in professional environments and looked at the percentage of workers who tried to negotiate higher pay in their last job offer, by gender and by age.
39% of people try to negotiate higher pay, while 61% didn’t.
When we compare the figures by gender, 46% of men will negotiate or did negotiate a higher pay in their last job offer.
Whereas only 35% of women tried to negotiate higher pay.
And here’s the kicker.
You don’t need to be good at negotiating. You just need to do it.
- Mindset – Often, we don’t ask for more because we look at salary negotiation as being about your personal worth. It’s not. You must remember that this is a business negotiation. It’s not personal.
Adopt that business negotiation mindset and you’re well on your way to protecting your career from the gender pay gap.
- Research and preparation. What’s the salary range on the job. If you are going through a recruitment agency, ask them. If it’s not published and you are going directly, who do you know works at the organization? Ask the HR team.
Look at similar roles in similar organisations. What salary is being advertised?
- Stay calm – Remember it’s not a validation of your personal worth. Don’t allow this to become an emotional discussion. Don’t take the discussions or negotiations personally.
- Be assumptive – Often my clients ask, “What if it’s not negotiable? Should I ask first?”
Don’t ask if it’s negotiable. Assume that it is. Assume that it’s okay to ask for more. If it’s not negotiable, they’re going to tell you anyway. Why ask?
Even if you are told, the salary is not negotiable, still ask.
- Not just salary – Job offer negotiation isn’t just about the salary. Think also about the benefits, flexible working, increased holiday and pension contributions. It doesn’t just have to be about the money.
- What to say – If you’re now wondering, “What do I actually say and how do I ASK FOR MORE?“, here’s a very simple strategy when you are presented with the job offer.
“That’s less than I was expecting for someone with my experience.”
You can be very specific and tell them what you’re expecting or you can give a salary range.
For more strategies on what to say, check out Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. Or listen to this podcast episode with Michelle Gyimah on how to negotiate a pay rise.
- Be ambitious – The key thing when it comes to asking for more is to be ambitious and ask for more than you want but certainly, more than you expect.
The data tells us that there’s a direct correlation between how much you asked for and how much you get.
You’re going to be kicking yourself in the foot if you ask for an extra £10,000 and they say yes straight away because could you have asked for an extra £15,000? Or even £20,000?
Always be ambitious and ask for more than you want or expect. Dare to be scared to ask.
That’s part one of the triple-A plan, ALWAYS ASK FOR MORE.
Come back tomorrow to find out about the next two parts of the Triple A Plan to protect your career falling foul of the gender pay gap by Articulating Your Ambitions and Auditing Your Work.
And if you liked my practical straight-talking advice, connect with me on LinkedIn to hear my latest career and leadership tips.