4 Tips to Negotiating for the Salary and Benefits You’re Worth

July 19, 2017


Four steps for negotiating your salary: know your value; know your target salary and benefits; know your strategy; practice, practice, practice!

Today, women working full time, year-round are typically paid just 80 percent of what men are paid, amounting to a gap of 20 percent. When you break it down by race, it can get worse: Latinas are paid 54 cents to every dollar white, non-Hispanic men are paid; American Indian and Alaska Native women 58 cents; Native Hawaiian women 60 cents; African American women 63 cents; white women 75 cents; and Asian American women 85 cents. The gender pay gap hurts women of all backgrounds and has far-reaching consequences for women’s economic, professional, and educational attainment.

At AAUW we’re moving the needle on the gender pay gap through our innovative research, powerful advocacy, and salary negotiation programs for women across the country. Thanks to generous support from our friends at LUNA and Bustle, we’re training even more women to confidently negotiate for what they’re worth. To that end, feminist comedy duo Tracy and Jessie took to the streets of New York City to raise awareness (and cash) for the estimated $840 billion annual pay gap that U.S. women collectively face.

While $840 billion is a comically large target, Tracy and Jessie underscored the importance of educating people about the gender pay gap. Salary negotiation is another critical strategy in moving the needle on equal pay and just one way that LUNA has championed women to blaze new trails and never settle for the status quo.

LUNA is sponsoring AAUW salary negotiation workshops to help women move that much closer to closing the gender pay gap. You can sign up for a workshop near you, but in the meantime here are four tips for you. Ready to get paid what you’re worth? Follow these four steps to successfully negotiate your salary and benefits package.

1. Know your value.

Identify your strengths, professional accomplishments, and qualifications and how they align with your job. Practice saying them aloud. Prepare to strategically use your strengths to advocate for yourself during your negotiation. Confidence is key!

2. Know your target salary and benefits.

Use objective research to establish the market value of your desired position in your city. Set your target salary and stretch it upward to form a salary range. Think about the benefits you want. Prepare yourself by setting a lowest acceptable salary so you know when to walk away.

3. Know your strategy.

Do not share your desired salary first — deflect the question until you receive an offer. Anticipate how your employer might respond to your number and prepare persuasive responses beforehand. Use your strengths to highlight your personal value to the organization.

Asking for a raise or promotion? Prepare a pitch ahead of time that highlights your work. After sharing your pitch, stop talking — wait for your employer to respond first. If you’re negotiating with your current employer, speak to their unique priorities. For example, if your boss is especially motivated by the company’s bottom line, highlight the financial success of the new business you brought in, account you saved, or process you streamlined.

4. Practice, practice, practice!

Prepare your pitch and practice navigating difficult questions with another person before you negotiate. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel and the better your negotiation skills will become. Our favorite place to practice? One of the hundreds of free AAUW salary negotiation workshops taking place across the country.

AAUW’s salary negotiation programs are specially designed to empower women with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate for what they’re worth. Sign up for a no-cost AAUW salary negotiation workshop sponsored by LUNA.


AAUW Salary Negotiation Workshops

We’re fighting to close the pay gap, one workshop at a time. We offer sessions for college students and for women already in the workforce.

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