Women Taking the Lead in Salary NegotiationMarch 02, 2009
A fascinating study by Lisa Barron found one cause of the pay gap between men and women may be their different methods for salary negotiation. Especially in economic times like these, women need to know their worth and how to negotiate the best salary and benefits they can.
Inspired by Barron’s research, on February 24, 2009, the AAUW Gresham Area (OR) Branch presented Women Taking the Lead in Salary Negotiation at Mt. Hood Community College. We were fortunate to have two top-notch presenters: Sam Imperati, an award-winning expert in mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution, and Deborah Bond, one of our branch members. Imperati provided invaluable information on negotiation theory and offered tools, tricks, and traps to avoid. Bond, who has lots of experience interviewing prospective employees, provided specific tips on how to prepare for a salary negotiation.
Here are some of the best tips:
• Practice negotiating every day so it is second nature to you.
• Have your steps planned out ahead of time. Know your arguments, what the employer’s responses are likely to be, and have a reply prepared.
• Enter the negotiation knowing your own worth, believing you are entitled to a good salary, and not being afraid to talk about your accomplishments.
• Start negotiating with the highest number you can support with some objective data — it gives you room to maneuver during impasses.
• Use “interest-based bargaining” — focus on being collaborative/cooperative rather than competitive/antagonistic. Demonstrate why giving you a better salary is in the best interests of the company.
• Expect three impasses during the negotiation and devise a plan to break through them.
• Don’t take anything personally; this is a business negotiation, so don’t take it as a personal assault on your self-worth.
• Know the power of the words you use — try saying “proposals” rather than “positions” and “resolve” instead of “compromise.”
• Consider the total compensation package. If money is a sticking point, think about negotiating different benefits such as more vacation time, a better 401(k), improved medical benefits, etc.
Students had the opportunity to practice what they learned by role playing. Attendees gave the workshop high marks and said they had learned a lot and felt better prepared to negotiate. This workshop was a wonderful first step in what we hope is a continuing partnership with Mt. Hood Community College.
About our guest blogger: Tricia Aynes is the public policy co-chair for the Gresham Area (OR) Branch. The workshop at Mt. Hood Community College was funded by an LAF Campus Outreach Program grant. Contact Holly Kearl for information about the grant.