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The Best Strategies for Women to Negotiate a Higher Salary

Here we discuss all things empowerment and how to negotiate salary offer. Articles that make you think and act. 

How to negotiate a salary offer

Empowering Mid-Career Professional Women: Championing Gender Differences through Informed Salary Negotiation

In the today's corporate reality, mid-career women are at a pivotal crossroads. Their roles, especially as women of color, carry the potential to shape industries. Yet, many face challenges when negotiating salary, resulting in a disturbing gender pay gap. This article aims to inspire, inform, and guide these remarkable women on how to confidently handle salary negotiations, ensuring they receive an equitable compensation package in tune with their capabilities.

Confronting the Gender Pay Gap

For mid-career women, especially women of color, the gender pay gap is an unfortunate reality. Despite immense contributions to the job market and  in high-level positions, they frequently find themselves earning less than their male peers. And according to the Pew Research Center the gender pay gap between women and men has stubbornly remained at 81 cents to the $1 for the last two decades. This disparity isn’t just about numbers—it’s about recognizing worth and addressing gender differences that persist in compensation. What strategies can women use to do their part to change the narrative on salary and salary gaps. In order to understand how to negotiate a salary offer, let's consider three stories.

Real Stories, Real Resilience: The Art of Negotiating Salary

Maya’s Breakthrough: Mastering the Job Offer

Maya, always a shining talent, faced hurdles when it came to negotiating her compensation package. The looming fear of how a hiring manager might perceive her demands held her back. However, equipped with data from platforms like Glassdoor and PayScale, Maya transformed her approach, understanding the depth and breadth of her earnings potential in the current job market.

Anna’s Story: Navigating Salary History Bans

Anna spent years supporting her team, often sidelining her own growth. But when a new job offer came with a request for her past earnings, she took advantage of the salary history ban. She redirected the conversation, focusing on her worth and potential, which allowed her to craft a compelling counter offer. She was no longer shackled to her low earnings from her previous job. She could talk about the benefits she would bring to the new company and role. 

Dinah’s Turnaround - From Entry-Level to Top-Tier Negotiator

After a layoff from her entry-level job, Dinah was on the hunt for her next opportunity. Determined to break free from past compensation errors, especially as a woman of color facing unconscious bias, she employed negotiation techniques to ensure her next role—whether in high-level positions or otherwise—came with the compensation she truly deserved.

Strategies for Effective Salary Negotiation

Grounding in Research


When job seekers step into negotiations, information is their most potent ally. Having a pulse on the industry standards, understanding benchmarks on Glassdoor and PayScale, and being aware of the job market equips women, especially those in high-level positions, to have fruitful discussions. Additionally, the more often ignored resource is the power of your networks. Tap into those to research salaries and earning potential.

Understanding the Salary History Ban

Being aware of the salary history ban can be pivotal for women. Employers cannot make use of this example of structural bias. Many states have banned the practice of employers asking for past salary information. This is great news for job seekers because it helps them seek high-level positions that pay high-level salaries. It shifts the conversation from past earnings to future potential, giving them leverage when they negotiate salary with hiring managers.


Fostering Mutual Success in Counter Offers

Salary negotiations aren’t just about individual gain. By portraying how their suitable compensation package can be an asset to the organization, women can facilitate a collaborative dialogue, leading to a beneficial counter offer.


Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Whether they're seeking entry-level jobs or high-level positions, women, and particularly women of color, must be equipped to navigate the unconscious bias in the job market. Recognizing and addressing these biases is foundational to successful negotiations.


In a world where women are steadily rising in the professional landscape, it's essential that their compensation mirrors their worth. Whether they're navigating job offers, countering with a comprehensive compensation package, or researching salaries, knowledge and strategy are paramount.

With each passing day, the collective voice of professional women resonates louder, championing justice and equality. Through informed negotiation, we inch closer to a world where the gender pay gap is not something we have to talk about. Ever again. 

Image by Brooke Lark

If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.

Dolly Parton

Empowering Women in Professional Negotiations: Bridging the Gender Pay Gap

The gender pay gap still casts a long shadow. It’s more than just a statistic or a trending topic; it's a reality for countless women. So what tips for women can actually help move the needle? And can they actually move the needle? I believe yes. Equipped with the right tools and mindset, women can navigate the double blinds and negotiate a higher salary. As a negotiation expert, my dream is create a world that rewards talent and merit and not gender or race or other irrational factors. One that is set up to reward salary or promotion for the work that has been done and the work that can be done by the individual. 

1. Unraveling the Gender Pay Gap: A Historical Overview

The gender pay gap isn't a new headline. Historically, societal norms and roles predominantly assigned women to positions deemed 'less important'. Such biases, deeply entrenched in history, manifest themselves even today. Equal Pay Day, falling on March 14 in 2023, stands testament to this disparity. It marks the extra time American women need to work into the new year to match the earnings of their male counterparts from the previous one. As of 2022, women earned a mere 82% of what men did, with an even more pronounced gap for Black and Hispanic women.

Understanding this historical context isn't just about recognizing the problem; it's about addressing it with informed strategies. Only then can we pave the way to truly close the gender pay gap.

What does the data tell us? Unfortunately, data shows that women negotiate less than men and at times women don't negotiate as well as men. The interesting thing is if women negotiate on behalf of someone else then they extract more than anyone else. So the problem is not in the negotiation skill. It might be that of psychological barriers. 

2. The Inner Struggle: Psychological Barriers in Salary Negotiation for Women

Many women are no strangers to the "Impostor Syndrome". It's that nagging feeling of doubt, an internal fear of being deemed a "fraud" despite numerous achievements. Coupled with societal expectations and the weight of history, these internal barriers can stifle confidence during salary negotiations.

But here's the silver lining: Recognizing these barriers is half the battle won. The next half? It's about dismantling them, brick by brick, using empowerment, affirmation, and a healthy dose of self-worth.

3. The Art of the Ask: How to Negotiate Salary Effectively

A common misconception exists that women are inherently poor negotiators. On the contrary, in several professional arenas, women often excel in negotiation, surpassing their male counterparts. However, the dynamics shift when it's about salary or wage negotiation.

Why is this the case? Salary negotiations, laden with competitive undertones, are fraught with societal expectations that often disadvantage women. Usually, when women raise their voices to advocate for themselves, they are seen as too aggressive or not confident enough - by both men and women. But, by understanding how to negotiate salary effectively, women can turn the tables:

  • Reflect First, Then Ask: Align your negotiation goals with broader career aspirations. Maybe you're seeking more than just a pay hike; perhaps you're aiming for professional development or an accelerated promotion.

  • Showcase Your Value: Justifying your requests is crucial. Highlight your unique skills and how they bolster the company's goals. After all, knowing how to negotiate salary after a job offer isn’t just about the ask, it's about presenting a compelling case.

  • Diversify Your Ask: Think beyond salary. Consider other benefits, from work-life balance perks to professional development opportunities.

  • Fractionate your counterpart: Most times there are more than one stakeholder to whom your pitch will resonate. Take the time to understand what interested parties are behind the person sitting opposite you. 

4. The Role of Mentorship: A Lighthouse in the Negotiation Storm

Mentorship, often thrown around as an option, can actually be useful to many women. A mentor, especially one seasoned in salary negotiations, provides insights that textbooks or workshops might miss. They are a sounding board, a voice of experience, and most importantly, a source of encouragement. They can offer a real-world perspective on how to negotiate salary and benefits, and also share strategies that have proven effective in specific industries or roles.

5. Networking Power: Women Joining Forces

While individual negotiations can make waves, women supporting women can help create a surge. By banding together, they can share pay levels and understand how to close the gaps. This approach not only boosts individual confidence but strengthens the collective voice of women. 


6. Charting the Future: Workshops and Training Sessions


Workshops focused on salary negotiation for women can make all the difference. These sessions aren't just about imparting skills but instilling confidence. They provide a safe space to practice, role-play, and gather feedback, ensuring women are well-armed for real-world negotiations.

Lighting the Path Forward

Bridging the gender pay gap is a journey that requires societal shifts, informed strategies, and a united front. But every journey begins with a single step. By equipping themselves with the right tools, adopting a positive mindset, and championing their worth, women are not just setting a precedent for themselves but forging the path for future leaders.

In the end, salary negotiation for women isn’t merely about getting a fair wage; it’s about redefining their value in the professional world. The future looks promising, and with the right approach, it's a future where equal pay isn't just a hope but a tangible reality.

On asking Netflix to let her have a percentage of the I May Destroy You copyright — and turning down its $1 million offer when it wouldn’t: “There was just silence on the phone. And [the executive] said, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’ I said, ‘If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5 percent of my rights’ … I remember thinking, I’ve been going down rabbit holes in my head, like people thinking I’m paranoid, I’m acting sketchy, I’m killing off all my agents. And then [the executive] said, [‘I just want you to know I’m really proud of you. You’re doing the right thing’], and I finally realized — I’m not crazy. This is crazy.”

Michaela Coel

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