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How to negotiate salary as a female - hidden Tactics to succeed

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

In the corporate world, women have long faced the challenge of negotiating their salary and bridging the pay gap. However, a shift is occurring, as more and more women are stepping up to demand the pay raises they deserve. In this article, we will explore strategies that can empower women to confidently navigate the negotiation process and secure their desired salary.

Dollar bill on wood floor

One key strategy is to gather data and research market value. By arming themselves with information about industry standards and salary ranges, women can better articulate their worth during negotiations.


Additionally, developing strong negotiation skills and leveraging personal achievements can make a compelling case for a higher salary. Another important aspect to consider is the power of networking and mentorship. Building relationships with influential individuals can provide valuable insights, guidance, and even referrals that can lead to better job opportunities and higher pay. Throughout this article, we will understand strategies and provide practical tips on how women can navigate their way from a pay gap to a well-deserved pay raise.


Why Women Should Negotiate Their Salary


Simply put, if you're not negotiating your salary, you're leaving money on the table. This isn't just about individual paychecks; it's about long-term financial security and equality. The more women step up and negotiate, the more we normalize the idea that women's work is equally valuable. However the rules for how to negotiate salary as a female are slightly more nuanced. And since most books on negotiation are traditionally written by men, we need to understand how we can tweak our strategy to secure the salary we desire.


How to negotiate salary as a female - 3 Don'ts of Negotiation


Don't Open with the Minimum You Will Accept


Starting negotiations with the lowest number you're willing to accept sets the stage for you to potentially earn less than you deserve.


Don't Try to Get Even


Negotiations can get heated. Regardless, avoid the urge to put someone down when emotions rise. This not only harms the relationship but also could derail the discussion.


Don't Make Big Concessions Quickly


As the negotiation progresses, if you need to make concessions, start small. The larger the concession, the more you diminish your own worth.


How to negotiate salary as a female - 3 Do's of Negotiation


Use Silence to Your Advantage


Silence is a powerful tool in negotiations. After stating your expectations or counteroffer, allow a pause in the conversation. This moment of silence can feel uncomfortable, making the other party more likely to speak up or even make a concession. Silence also gives you time to assess reactions and decide on your next move.


React Subtly to Lowball Offers


A well-timed, subtle flinch can speak volumes. If presented with a lowball offer, a slight look of surprise or disappointment can communicate your feelings more effectively than a barrage of words. This non-verbal cue can prompt the other party to reconsider their offer without you having to explicitly reject it, potentially leading to a better counteroffer.


Open the Door for Other Perks


Don't get tunnel vision by only focusing on salary. Open the discussion to include other benefits like increased vacation time, days of service, or a flexible work schedule. Many companies have set salary grades but flexible benefits packages. By broadening the conversation, you not only improve your overall compensation but also create a work-life environment that suits you better.


Adding these 'Do's to your negotiation strategy can provide a well-rounded approach to securing not only a better salary but also a better overall compensation package. Implementing these techniques can make the negotiation process more dynamic and could significantly influence the final offer in your favor.


Researching Salary Expectations and Market Value


Knowledge is power. Research average salaries for your role in your location and industry. Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale can be invaluable resources. The more data you have, the more confidently you can state your case.


Developing a Negotiation Strategy


Plan your approach carefully. Define your "walk-away" point—the lowest offer you're willing to accept—and identify the conditions under which you would be willing to compromise. Prepare to articulate your value clearly. For an in-depth training, get this audio session (it's Free!).


Effective Negotiation Techniques for Women


Women often face unique challenges in negotiation, including unconscious biases. Strategies like mirroring the negotiation style of the other party and being explicit about your expectations can be effective.


Handling Objections and Counteroffers


Expect pushback and be prepared to counter. Use your research to respond to objections and come prepared with a list of your achievements to fortify your position.


Negotiating Non-Monetary Benefits and Perks


Remember, salary is just one part of the compensation package. If the organization can't meet your financial requirements, consider negotiating for other benefits like flexible working hours, more vacation time, or professional development opportunities. For a list of perks that are not always discussed, get this guide.



How to negotiate salary as a female - KEY Watchouts


Reframing "No" as a Negotiation Opportunity


In my experience working with professional women, we often interpret a "no" as a door closing, rather than a negotiation opportunity waiting to be explored. One particular colleague I know effectively leverages a "no" into a more constructive dialogue. She responds to "no" as an opening to negotiate differently, often gaining ground that initially seemed lost. Rather than seeing a "no" as rejection, think of it as an invitation to reframe your request and approach it from another angle.


Pre-Negotiation Networking is Key


Before even sitting down at the negotiation table, it's critical to have internal advocates or sponsors within the company. Having a sponsor can shift the room's dynamic in your favor, making it easier for you to assert your value and conditions. Men often naturally seek out and utilize sponsors; women should do the same and not hesitate to ask influential people for sponsorship.


Make Your Achievements Known


Despite their dedication and hard work, women often assume that their efforts are automatically recognized. We have a tendency to wait to be seen. However, it's important to articulate and demonstrate your achievements and potential. Do not rely solely on your well-crafted resume to speak for you. Make it a point to voice your value and how you can contribute to the organization's success.


Carefully Utilize Outside Offers


Using an outside offer as a negotiating point can be a double-edged sword for women. You can use this strategy but introduce it subtly. Frame the conversation by expressing your commitment and loyalty to your current organization before mentioning the external offer. This approach mitigates the risk of appearing manipulative.


Practice Makes Perfect

Self-promotion may feel foreign to many women due to social conditioning, but it's a skill that can and should be developed. Practicing your pitch or narrative will not only help you become more comfortable talking about your accomplishments but will also serve to set the stage for successful negotiations.


Empowering Women to Close the Pay Gap


The path from the pay gap to a well-deserved pay raise is paved with research, strategy, and negotiation skills. By arming themselves with valuable market insights and honing their negotiation tactics, women can not only secure the salaries they deserve but also contribute to closing the gender pay gap.




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