It Pays to Negotiate

On average, only 7% of women attempt to negotiate their salary.

Gray, a 27-year-old woman in Cambridge, MA, recalled this statistic from Bossed Up Bootcamp as she weighed an exciting new offer.

In the weeks following Bootcamp, she was able to have a difficult conversation with her supervisor, in which she described why she was thinking of leaving her job. Gray started looking for new opportunities without feeling anxious or overwhelmed, as she had been before, and she reached out to her fellow bosses online for support and encouragement.

When she got the offer, she put on her best assertive voice and negotiated her salary for the first time ever. She negotiated for 5.5% more than their starting offer, almost 9% more than she was making at her last job. At the end of the negotiation, the CEO of her new company shook her hand and said, “Well done for asking.”

The reality is, the negotiation table can be a minefield for women! Studies show that the kind of assertive communication required in negotiation is inversely correlated with likability for women. Our male counterparts, on the other hand, don’t have to contend with this double-bind.

Linda Babcock, the nation’s preeminent researcher on women and negotiation, found that while yes, a large gender gap persists in terms of who attempts to negotiate (57% of men and only 7% of women), among those who did, they saw an average bump in salary of 7%.

We here at Bossed Up believe that it’s important to know our worth and dare to ask for more – even in a biased world. This starts with each of us deciding to negotiate. Choose to be among the 7% of women attempting to negotiate in order to be among those seeing an average 7% increase in salary.

The first step in a successful negotiation is to DECIDE to negotiate. twitter_button

When know our worth and ask for it, we end up working with worthwhile people, too. That same CEO who congratulated Gray on asking for more recently instituted a new workplace policy to pay for employee Bikeshare benefits – win! Clearly he knows that a happy, healthy workforce is better for the bottom line.

I’m optimistic that there are more CEOs like Gray’s out there – congratulating women who dare to ask for more. The world is changing, but only if we help it along by following her example and deciding to negotiate.

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well,” Gray says, quoting her father. When we consider it our job to negotiate like a boss, we can all find the courage to step up and ask for more.

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