by Tao Wong
Statistically, women’s median income is 19% less than men’s. Of course, there are numerous variables involved including age, occupations, hours worked, etc. but just as much, women often find it more difficult to negotiate wages. So, here are 5 tips to aid you in your next negotiation:
1) Don't go in cold
All too often, we’ve seen women enter negotiations ‘cold’, not having rehearsed the negotiation in their mind before and the various points that might be raised. While it’s not possible to predict the actual conversation, most of the points in a good performance review / salary negotiation should already have been covered beforehand. Rehearse your answers in your mind or with someone else and you’ll feel more comfortable for when the negotiation does occur.
2) Keep written notes of your contributions. Numbers matter.
If this is your initial salary negotiation on hiring, keep notes of your past accomplishments on hand. If you are negotiating a raise, you should have been keeping notes of your accomplishments with the company – everything from major projects you have managed, new tasks and responsibilities you have taken on, money you have saved the company, etc. Anything you can nail down to hard numbers will help even more.
3) Know what you're worth
You can’t negotiate if you don’t understand what you are really worth. Use websites like PayScale and talk to others in the field to get an understanding of what you are worth. Of course there are industry and company differences, but without a benchmark it’s impossible to tell how well you are doing.
4) Numbers first
If at all possible, let the employer name their number first. In addition, their first offer (or counter-offer) is often not their final offer.
5) It's not all about money
Do not forget – the negotiation is not just about wages. Secondary benefits like telecommuting, sick days, vacation days, an expense account can all be negotiated. Often, a cash-strapped business might not be able to offer direct salary compensation but will be flexible in other areas. Lastly, a final tip – you can also negotiate to come back to review your accomplishments in a shorter time-frame than 1 year.
* This article is contributed by Tao Wong of PDB Sales Inc. an e-commerce consultancy based in Vancouver, BC.