If you are in search of a job, it’s clear that at some point, you’ll be asked about the salary. And yet this is often a delicate subject that we, as women, have trouble addressing with confidence.
As it is, however, an essential point in reducing salary discrimination, it’s important to learn how to take control of this topic.
Learn how to negotiate your salary as soon as you start a job.
We often hear about the wage gap between men and women for the same job. In 2021 in Canada, women earned on average 89 cents for each dollar earned by men.
You might think that this gap is due to the glass ceiling, which prevents women from climbing the corporate ladder, or maybe because of the lack of gender diversity in better-paying jobs. You might even think that it’s due to career interruptions following a pregnancy, or even socially-imposed part-time employment so a woman can take care of her family…
However, what is less known, is that discrimination starts from the moment a woman starts working. She might be the same age, have the same qualifications, be in a similar job, but when she enters the working world, a woman earns 9% less than a man.
That is why knowing the tricks of salary negotiation is essential to getting a good start in a career or when returning to the workforce.
Do you know your professional value?
Just as you would do research when preparing your CV and your cover letter, you need to research the salary.
To be able to negotiate, it’s important to know how much other people working in the same field and in the same region earn. You can look at websites, professional networks, professional associations, or even ask your colleagues and mentors directly.
Set an objective: Determine a salary that you feel is fair and realistic on the basis of your skills, your experience, and the market data. This will help you better negotiate.
Negotiating with a future employer
Your interview went well and you were chosen for the job. This is the moment to discuss the salary and the company’s benefits.
Be flexible. Keep an ideal salary in mind, but take other conditions into consideration: Of course the pay is important, but a work-life balance is also important.
If the employer cannot offer you the salary you’re asking for, think about negotiating other benefits, such as additional leave days, work-from-home days, training, employee benefits, and other in-kind benefits.
After taking the job:
It is never too late to negotiate your salary or a pay increase. Did you start your job and realize that your salary does not represent the value of your work? You can ask to meet with your supervisor to make your request.
Work on your presentation: Create a list of your accomplishments and the tasks you have completed. Also, prepare some convincing arguments that highlight how you add value to the company.
If you think your place of work is subjecting you to salary discrimination, you can contact CNESST. This government organization is there to inform you and to enforce the law.
Do you need help?
YWCA Montreal employment counsellors know the tricks of salary negotiation. What would be better than getting help from professionals when researching and preparing for a job?
Our employability services are free and made to measure. Take advantage of the opportunity!
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