Amanda’s Experience of $tarting $martNovember 04, 2011
Attending a $tart $mart salary negotiation workshop at the University of Texas, Tyler, gave recent college graduate Amanda the knowledge and skills she needed to prevent herself from losing more than $250,000 over the course of her working life, the average amount women lose because of the gender wage gap.
During her junior and senior years, Amanda held an internship at a nationwide hospital chain. In March, she noticed two full-time budget analyst positions posted at the hospital. Amanda applied for one of the positions, as did a male friend of hers who had no prior experience with the organization. In April, she was called in for an interview with her supervising manager and subsequently with the chief financial officer, where she successfully expanded on her education, skills, and her valuable internship experience with the organization.
Amanda received a job offer within 48 hours. Her friend also received an offer but decided to decline it. Fortunately for Amanda, her friend shared with her the amount of money he was offered for the job. Imagine her surprise when she realized her offer was well below her male friend’s! Amanda asked for her offer in writing to ensure she did not misunderstand, and it confirmed that she was indeed offered the lower salary amount. She took two days to decide how to proceed and asked advice from her $tart $mart facilitator.
She called her internship supervisor, who had initially interviewed her for the full-time position, to decline the offer and explain why — because of the difference between her offer and her male friend’s. Amanda ended up receiving a counter offer that was $6,100 higher than the first one. She also received an apology from her internship supervisor and from the CFO. Amanda accepted the upgraded offer and in doing so avoided losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars over her working life!
“The discussions surrounding the wage gap opened my eyes to wage discrimination and the fact that it is still prevalent in today’s society, but never did I think that I would be a victim of discrimination,” said Amanda. “As a woman, I now recognize the importance of ensuring that I have effective wage negotiation skills. My firsthand experience validated the fact that there is still wage discrimination among employers that continues to expand the wage gap.”
$tart $mart salary negotiation workshops provide college women entering the job market the knowledge and skills they need to negotiate salaries and benefits to receive fair and realistic compensation. For information on hosting a workshop in your area, see the $tart $mart Program in a Box.
This post was written by AAUW Leadership Programs Intern Jessica Kelly.