Reducing the wage gap is something that has gathered a lot of interest in many quarters and many nations.
The belief is that payment of individual professionals should be based on their experience, skill and the value that they offer to the company, and not by their gender, how well they can negotiate, or their salary history.
According to a report, the salaries of the Indian women are at least 20% lesser than the men.
With experience, this pay gap continues to increase, even though the women put in as much work and have very similar or the same talents as the men.
This is very unfair as abilities and talents should be judged equally and paid fairly irrespective of the gender.
While it is an important first step to try to close the gender wage gap by putting laws into place for it, it has also been proven by career experts that women are unlikely to negotiate their pay during a job interview than men.
A study that was carried out on salary negotiations by Mulberrys shows that one-third of women never ask for a pay rise at their workplace compared to just one-fifth of men.
The reason that women appear less willing to negotiate is that they are generally more accomodating and don't want to be seen as pushy.
They also do not have that job security. They fear that their jobs may be revoked if they ask for a rise. Mostly, they just want to be seen as polite even if their paychecks are thin.
According to salary experts, women feel that they have to prove their worth first or show that they are deserving of a pay rise before they push for more (if they ever do).
But on the other hand, men just go into salary conversations without feeling the need to prove anything, and they ask for and expect to receive good offers.
Closing the gender gap will be a lot more difficult if women do not start to make moves towards negotiating for a better pay package.
For every women worker out there, here are few tips to help you negotiate a pay rise.
1. Know your right
Knowing your right should always be the first thing for you.
Many women in India don't even know that there's legislation dating back to 1976 that protects their interest and deals with the gender pay gap.
This legislation is titled "Equal Remuneration Act, 1976. This Act was passed to ensure the provision of equal regeneration for both male and female workers to prevent gender discrimination.
So, if you have any reason to believe that you're being underpaid or the average male salary is higher than what you're earning, you have every right within the law to address this with your boss.
You do not even have to be offensive about it, you just have to let them know that you know your rights and you will not let that get trampled on.
2. Do not be unprepared
Attending interviews is like sitting for examinations, you would not do well if you do not prepare yourself well enough physically and mentally.
In this case, a part of your preparation is you researching for the average salary range for the job you are doing.
This will help you to realize how underpaid you are and how important that pay rise is for you personally and financially and for the common good in bridging the pay gap between men and women.
There are plenty of sites that you can check online that can give you more than enough information on the average payday of your job in your industry, especially putting into consideration factors such as the size and location of your company.
Carrying out this research will give you an edge when it comes to negotiating and keeps you in charge.
It also ensures that you do not make the same mistake of underpricing yourself during the negotiations.
Ask for at least more than the first offer they put on the table and try to negotiate around this if it is within the range you expect from your research.
3. Be ready with your statements
This is another thing you must do to prepare yourself before setting out to negotiate for a pay rise.
You have to prepare your statements beforehand so that they do not get you off-guard.
Now that you know what you want, you have to know how to go about it.
Issues and discussions about salaries are usually very sensitive for both the employee and employer.
While the employer is used to dealing with such a situation, you being the female employee who is probably not used to it.
So, you need to take your time and rehearse your pitch before you get out there to deliver it.
This will ensure that you can always turn the conversation in your favour, especially if you focus on your salary expectation and you also give reasons and instances to back up your claim towards a pay rise.
4. Know your value and keep things professional
According to the study by Mulberry’s, 56% of women write out a list of the achievements they have made before they negotiate their salary.
This is a good move and it is important because it helps you to realize your worth and how good you are at what you do.
This gives you the extra pound of confidence that you need to ‘confront your adversary.’
It also has the same effect on the employer.
There is a huge possibility that your achievements have been swept under the carpet for a long while and you have not been given the level of pay and attention that your work deserves.
A list of your achievements will serve as a friendly reminder of your values to the company and this gives you an edge in the negotiations.
However, you must know already that you have to keep things professional.
Negotiation is not an argument, you are not trying to win the other party over or trying to not lose.
It is about finding the middle ground where both parties can reach a consensus and be happy.
So, you should throw your emotions out the door. You can as well hold up on the negotiations if you find that emotions are beginning to rise, then go again when you have pulled yourself together.
5. Do not show weakness
If you are going to succeed at negotiating, your employer mustn't see any sign of weakness that they can pound on during the negotiation process.
For instance, many women avoid asking for a pay rise because they are insecure about their job and feel they might lose it.
There is a possibility that you are in this group of women, and it is okay.
But if you decide to go ahead and ask for a raise because you believe that you deserve it, there is no way that you are letting your employer know that you are insecure or uncertain about your job.
You have got to wear confidence and ooze off confidence. Do not sit there apologizing for no wrong that you have done.
Do not give them a reason to believe that you are not convinced about your request or what you want. It is a trap you do not want to fall into. If you have to, give a false impression.
Make them think you are extremely certain about your job even though you are not in reality. This gives you power. The truth is, if you do not ask for it, you might not get what you want or deserve.
Mistakes women make in negotiation
“The lack of negotiation is the first mistake that women make in negotiating salaries or pay rise. If there will be a bridge between the pay that men get in comparison to the women, then the women have to stand up and assertively demand that they are paid based on their works, achievement, and value to the company, and not based on their gender or inability to negotiate.”
- Susan Gardner, HR manager at AssignmentGeek.
Another common mistake with women is the lack of preparedness.
It is not enough to say “I need a pay rise,” or “I must re-negotiate my salary” without actually sitting down to evaluate if you have done enough to get the payment you requested for.
Some people do not even have an idea of how much they should be making, yet they want to ask for a pay rise.
How do you expect to be successful with such negotiations and not be seen as being too pushy?
One other problem that women have is that they generally tend to have lower expectations than men.
And when your expectations are already systematically low, you will get outcomes that befit your level of expectations.
So, many times, many women get paid lower than men and lower than they should be simply because they have lower expectations and not as a result of institutional sexism like many believe.
A Harvard business school study demonstrated that the male MBAs are paid more than the females.
Then they compared the level of knowledge that men have about the salaries for their job to the women’s, the difference was quite clear and it became obvious where the problem lies.
We all need to stand up for what is right and trying to bridge the pay gap between men and women of equal skills, ability and performance is important if we are to move forward as a society.
Women also have to be confident in themselves and not always have low expectations when it comes to negotiating salaries.
Be firm, as much as you can be, believe in your ability and what you bring to the table, know your right, and most importantly, know your worth.
Tobias Foster is a journalist, editor and essay writer at Assignment help Australia and dissertation writing services with more than 5-years of work experience and big ambitions. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in that field. He is a master of his craft.