With International Women’s Day approaching we want to talk about issues women professionals are facing to date. It’s none other than pay disparity!

This majorly stems from cultural and social expectations along with other factors that hinder your salary. So, in this blog, we will provide tips women can use to negotiate salary confidently, thus closing the gender pay gap.

But first, let’s find out the challenges female professionals face in negotiating salary.

  1. What are the challenges women face in salary negotiation?
  2. Tips to negotiate your salary

What are the challenges women face in salary negotiation?

Women often encounter several challenges in salary negotiation that can impact their overall compensation and career progression. Here are some of the key challenges:

  • Gender Pay Gap: One of the overarching challenges is the existence of a gender pay gap. Women in India, on average, earn less than their male counterparts for similar roles. This pay gap can make it more challenging for women to negotiate higher salaries, as there might be an underlying bias that undervalues their contributions.
  • Cultural and Social Expectations: Societal expectations and cultural norms in India sometimes discourage women from being assertive in negotiating their salaries. Women may face resistance or judgment for negotiating aggressively, which can lead to a reluctance to engage in robust salary discussions.
  • Lack of Negotiation Skills Training: Many women may not have had access to formal negotiation skills training. This lack of training can result in a lower confidence level when negotiating salaries. Investing in programs that empower women with negotiation skills can be beneficial in addressing this challenge.
  • Implicit Bias and Stereotypes: Unconscious biases and gender stereotypes can influence the perception of women in the workplace, affecting how their negotiation efforts are received. Employers may unknowingly hold biases that impact their willingness to offer higher salaries to women.
  • Career Breaks and Work-Life Balance: Women in India often face challenges related to career breaks for family reasons. Returning to the workforce after a break can put them at a disadvantage during salary negotiations, as employers may perceive a gap in their work experience as a drawback.
  • Limited Access to Information: Women may not always have access to accurate and up-to-date information about salary benchmarks for their roles. This lack of information can hinder their ability to negotiate effectively.
  • Fear of Retaliation: There may be a fear among women that negotiating for higher pay could lead to negative consequences, such as being viewed as difficult or jeopardizing future opportunities for career advancement.
  • Lack of Transparent Salary Structures: Some organizations in India may not have transparent salary structures, making it difficult for employees, including women, to understand how their salaries compare to industry standards and negotiate accordingly.

Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort from both employers and employees.

Creating an inclusive and transparent work environment, providing negotiation skills training, and actively working to eliminate gender biases are essential steps towards fostering equitable salary negotiations for women in India.

Tips to negotiate your salary

Be data ready

Being data-ready is a fundamental aspect of successful salary negotiations. This involves collecting and presenting relevant information that supports your salary expectations.

Here's how this point can help in negotiating salaries:

  • Market Research: Conduct thorough research on industry standards and salary benchmarks for your role in the specific location and industry. Knowing the average salary for your position gives you a solid foundation for negotiation.
  • Company Policies: Understand your company's policies regarding salary structures, performance-based incentives, and any other relevant compensation details. This information will help you align your expectations with the organization's practices.
  • Your Achievements: Compile a list of your achievements, contributions, and skills that have positively impacted the company. Quantifiable accomplishments, such as meeting targets or improving processes, can strengthen your case for a higher salary.
  • Comparable Roles: Identify colleagues or professionals in similar roles within and outside your organization. Knowing what others in comparable positions are earning can be persuasive during negotiations.
  • Cost of Living: Consider the cost of living in your location and factor it into your salary expectations. This is particularly relevant if you are relocating or if there are significant variations in living costs between regions.

By presenting well-researched data, you demonstrate that your salary expectations are grounded in market realities and your contributions, making it more compelling for your employer to consider your proposal.

Allow your boss the time to prepare for the conversation

Timing is crucial in salary negotiations. Giving your boss adequate time to prepare for the conversation ensures a more constructive and informed discussion.

Here's how this point can be beneficial:

  • Schedule Appropriately: Instead of bringing up salary negotiations unexpectedly, schedule a dedicated meeting with your boss to discuss compensation. This allows them to allocate sufficient time to focus on your case without feeling rushed.
  • Provide Advance Notice: If possible, provide advance notice that you would like to discuss your compensation. This gives your boss time to gather relevant data, review your performance, and consider budget constraints.
  • Prepare a Proposal: Along with scheduling, share a brief proposal outlining your achievements, contributions, and the reasons you believe a salary adjustment is warranted. This document gives your boss a clear understanding of your perspective before the meeting.
  • Consider Company Timelines: Be mindful of the company's fiscal calendar and budget cycles. Timing your negotiation when the organization can review and adjust salaries can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome.

By allowing your boss the time to prepare, you facilitate a more organized and focused discussion.

This preparation helps ensure that both parties are on the same page, increasing the chances of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement during the salary negotiation process.

Avoid sharing your salary expectation

Refusing to disclose your salary expectations upfront can provide several advantages during the negotiation process.

Here's how this approach can be beneficial:

  • Prevents Anchoring: When you share your salary expectation first, it might become an anchor point that influences the negotiation. If your expectation is lower than what the employer had in mind, you risk settling for less than you might have otherwise negotiated.
  • Encourages Employer's Offer: By avoiding the initial disclosure, you prompt the employer to make the first offer. This allows you to assess their valuation of your skills and experience, providing valuable information for crafting your counteroffer.
  • Maintains Flexibility: Without committing to a specific figure early in the negotiation, you retain the flexibility to explore various aspects of the compensation package, including benefits, bonuses, and other perks, ensuring a more comprehensive negotiation.
  • Focus on Value: Instead of concentrating on a predetermined number, shift the conversation towards the value you bring to the organization. Highlight your skills, achievements, and contributions, emphasizing why you deserve a competitive compensation package.
  • Negotiate from Strength: Armed with knowledge about industry standards and your market value, you are in a stronger position to negotiate a salary that aligns with your skills and experience, rather than being constrained by an early salary expectation.

Normalize the conversation

Normalizing the salary conversation fosters open communication and sets the stage for a more collaborative negotiation.

Here's how this point can contribute to successful salary discussions:

  • Discussing Career Growth: Frame the conversation as part of your overall career growth and development within the company. This approach shifts the focus from a transactional discussion to a collaborative exploration of how both parties can benefit from a mutually satisfying arrangement.
  • Highlighting Achievements: Regularly discuss your achievements, contributions, and career aspirations with your supervisor throughout the year, not just during salary negotiations. This normalizes the idea that your compensation should reflect your continuous growth and value to the organization.
  • Seeking Feedback: Regularly seek feedback on your performance and inquire about opportunities for improvement. This establishes an ongoing dialogue about your professional development and reinforces the idea that your compensation should align with your contributions.
  • Connecting with Peers: If appropriate, engage in conversations with colleagues about compensation, career growth, and industry standards. Normalizing these discussions within the workplace can reduce the stigma around talking about salaries and contribute to a more transparent environment.
  • Aligning with Company Values: Emphasize how your goals and expectations align with the company's values and objectives. By framing the negotiation in the context of shared interests, you contribute to a collaborative atmosphere that encourages open communication about compensation.

By avoiding early salary disclosures and normalizing the salary conversation, you create a more strategic and collaborative negotiation environment.

This approach allows for a comprehensive exploration of your worth to the organization and facilitates a more mutually beneficial outcome.

Pretend you're not the one asking for a raise

Approaching salary negotiations as if you are an advocate for your skills and contributions, rather than someone seeking a personal benefit, can reshape the dynamics of the conversation.

Here's how this approach can be advantageous:

  • Frame it as a Business Discussion: Present the salary negotiation as a business discussion focused on aligning your compensation with your value to the organization. By emphasizing the business aspect, you convey a commitment to contributing meaningfully to the company's success.
  • Highlighting Market Value: Instead of positioning the negotiation as a personal request, emphasize your market value in the industry. Discuss how your skills and experience are in line with industry standards, reinforcing the idea that the proposed adjustment is a strategic decision for the company.
  • Tie it to Performance and Contributions: Link your request for a salary adjustment to your performance and contributions to the organization. Showcase how your efforts have positively impacted projects, teams, or the company's bottom line, making a compelling case for the value you bring.
  • Discuss Future Goals: Shift the focus toward your future goals within the organization. Outline how an appropriate salary adjustment is crucial for your continued commitment and motivation to achieve both personal and company objectives, creating a forward-looking perspective.
  • Present Comparative Data: Provide data on industry benchmarks and salary ranges for your role. This comparative data reinforces the idea that your compensation request is grounded in objective market standards rather than a subjective personal desire.

By adopting the mindset of an advocate for your professional worth, you position yourself as someone who is invested in the success of the organization.

This approach can lead to a more objective and strategic discussion, potentially resulting in a salary adjustment that reflects your true value within the company.


We hope you found these tips useful and will execute them in your next salary negotiation.

Ladies, know your worth, and don’t shy away from asking for it. You are entitled to be paid as per your market worth based on your acquired skills and performance.