$tart $mart General Information

$tart $mart salary negotiation workshops empower college women who are beginning their careers to overcome the gender wage gap and teach them to benchmark and negotiate for fair and equitable salaries upon graduation.

Negotiating salaries is a challenge for women at all stages of their careers, since women are less likely than men to ask for what they deserve. AAUW research shows that, one year after graduation, young women earn just 82 percent of what their male counterparts earn and that the gender gap widens over the next 10 years. A young woman graduating today will earn roughly $1 million less than her male counterpart will over the course of her career because of this gap.

More than 350 $tart $mart workshops have been presented at 238 colleges, universities, and other sites across the country. $tart $mart has a presence in 45 states, and more than 700 facilitators have been trained to lead workshops.

No other campus program offers such detailed skill building on pay negotiation. $tart $mart covers the following topics in a three-hour workshop:

  • The personal consequences of the gender wage gap and what a $1 million loss means over one’s working life
  • Resources for benchmarking reasonable salaries and benefits, including salary ranges, the impact of market realities on salaries, and how to compare skills and accomplishments to target a realistic salary range
  • Knowing your bottom line by developing a bare-bones budget to pay rent, buy groceries, repay student loans, and cover other basic expenses
  • Developing and practicing the language of persuasion in order to negotiate for a fair and equitable salary

Target Audience

The $tart $mart target audience is college women who are approaching the job market, including community college students and graduate students.

Timing Tips

Workshops are usually held on a weeknight starting in the late afternoon or early evening. The workshop may be held any day of the week, including weekends, but the time must accommodate student, college or university, and facilitator schedules.


The ideal size of the group for the workshop is 30 students. Forty students per workshop is the maximum.


The ideal workshop is one three-hour session but may be divided into two sessions.

Campus Collaborators

Collaborating with various departments on campus maximizes the impact of the workshop and allows participating departments to share expenses. Suggested partners include women’s centers, career development or placement offices, student activities groups, leadership centers, and women’s studies departments.

College and University Responsibilities

The college or university that is hosting the $tart $mart training must appoint one person as the campus contact. The campus contact’s duties include the following:

  • Engaging other programs and offices on campus to co-sponsor the workshop
  • Forming a $tart $mart committee on campus and involving students to help promote the workshops
  • Determining a specific job title, job destination, and student profile for each participant
  • Advertising, promoting, and registering participants for the workshop
  • Securing a setting and materials for the workshop, including a computer with Internet access, a projection screen and projector, a black or white board, sufficient seating capacity for all participants, and refreshments for participants, if desired
  • Reproducing copies of the $tart $mart student workbook, role-play scripts, and evaluation materials for each participant

The AAUW Responsibilities

  • AAUW staff will work collaboratively with the campus contact to set a date for the workshop. The workshop will be conducted by a AAUW staff member or $tart $mart Facilitator.
  • AAUW staff will identify an available $tart $mart Facilitator for the workshop. Staff will arrange the date of the workshop according to the the facilitator’s schedule.
  • AAUW staff, working with the identified $tart $mart Facilitator, will provide a $tart $mart student workbook and workshop script specific to anticipated student participation. AAUW will also create workshop-specific role-playing scripts for the students.
  • AAUW staff will provide the campus coordinator with suggested information to promote the event.

Cost of the Workshop to the College or University

The total cost for a workshop is the basic workshop fee plus the travel-related expenses of the $tart $mart Facilitator.

Basic Workshop Fees

The fee for the use and development of $tart $mart materials for the inaugural workshop at a college or university is $650. There is a $350 charge for every subsequent workshop.

Travel-Related Expenses

In addition to the workshop fee, the workshop sponsor must reimburse AAUW for the travel and lodging costs (if more than 25 miles of travel is necessary) for a AAUW staff member or $tart $mart Facilitator. The facilitator will submit documentation of her or his travel-related expenses to AAUW, which will then invoice the sponsor. AAUW will reimburse the $tart $mart Facilitator after receipt of payment from the sponsor.

License Option

A license is available to colleges and universities that want to provide unlimited workshops for three academic years. The three-year license gives a campus access to all workshop materials and complete support from AAUW staff. As a three-year-licensed school, you are part of a growing network of campuses who meet several times a year via conference call to share their experiences. With the purchase of the license, AAUW will also train three faculty or staff members to be $tart $mart Facilitators at no charge. This license option requires a signed agreement and payment of $1,750 to AAUW.

Cancellation Fee

If, for any reason, the $tart $mart workshop is canceled fewer than 30 days before the scheduled date, the workshop sponsor will be obligated to pay AAUW $300 for time and expenses incurred in preparation for the workshop.

Facilitator Training

AAUW also offers $tart $mart Facilitator trainings. Facilitators are volunteers who coordinate and present $tart $mart workshops and often help recruit campuses to host the workshops. The training cost is $100 per person, which covers materials and ongoing coaching. Trained $tart $mart Facilitators will receive a
$50 refund once they recruit or facilitate their first workshop. Facilitators-in-training must observe one entire student workshop in order to complete their certification.

AAUW members, other community members, and college or university personnel may be trained as facilitators, which cuts down on costs for each campus and adds flexibility to workshop scheduling.


If you are interested in bringing a $tart $mart campus workshop to a college or university or if you are interested in being trained as a $tart $mart Facilitator, please contact AAUW Program Manager Dorrie Sieburg.

Learn how to bring the $tart $mart workshop to a campus near you