Congress just passed the Paycheck Fairness Act which puts more teeth into being able to fight pay discrimination on the basis of gender. It covers a range of actions women can take to address a pay inequity but interestingly it also requires the Secretary of Labor (Elaine Chao) to provide training for women and girls in how to negotiate for salary.
Women are 8 times less likely to negotiate their starting salaries then men and if a woman with a starting salary of $25,000 fails to negotiate for $5,000 more a year, she stands to lose more than $568,000 by age 60. Now that’s a reason to get some training!
A fabulous workshop on Negotiating for Salary is being offered by the Center for Women on Sat. August 23. Click here to register. Elaine Rosenblum with Courageous Conversations will be conducting the program and she is an awesome negotiator and trainer. She is all about discussing salary issues with decency, respect and integrity. Her strategies will enable you to obtain the optimal “total compensation” package and plant the seeds for or maintaining a productive and long-term employer-employee relationship. Check her out at www.courageousconversation.net
If you think about it long enough it will make sense to deal with this issue at the beginning of your career…get paid for the value of your work not your gender. In my early career I realized that I was being paid less than 2 men who had the same job. I finally worked up my nerve to ask my boss for a raise based on the difference between our salaries. His response to me was that I ‘would always be a secondary income’ and he didn’t have to pay me as much as the men. I was livid but instead of having a meltdown (it was 1975 after all) I went back to my office and wrote my letter of resignation. That took a lot of nerve on my part and real guts as I had no other job lurking in the wings but I did it and I have never regretted it.