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Over Sixty Percent of Millennial Women Say They Don’t Know How To Ask For More

News |

Imagine if you walked into a coffee shop, ordered a coffee and they only filled it half way (and it wasn’t because you needed room for milk.) Or what if you went to the salon and they only cut the hair on the right side of your head? You signed up for an hour long barre class and they stopped after 30 minutes? You would say something, right?

Now in these situations it is rather obvious that you are being seriously gipped, but there is another situation where you are also getting a raw deal and there is a good chance you haven’t said anything about it. You most likely did not negotiate your current salary and are probably making less than your male coworker as a result. But you aren’t alone.

Join Levo’s 30-Day #ask4more Negotiation Challenge here!

Asking for what you want is fraught with challenges for many (I don’t want to come across as money-hungry/I didn’t even know I could!), and is often particularly difficult for women due to gender biases that discourage them from asking for more.

In a recent survey of the Levo audience, you told us you know you should negotiate, but you’re not doing it. Here’s why.

Women understand the importance of negotiating their job offers.

  • When starting a job at a new company, 83% agree that it’s important to negotiate their salary and/or benefits package.
  • 83% also believe that they will earn less money over the course of their careers if they do not negotiate their initial job offers at a new company.

When women negotiate, it also leads to better business.

Women who negotiated their offers at their current jobs were significantly more likely than those who didn’t negotiate to report: feeling fairly rewarded for the work they do and that their company has a great deal of personal meaning for them.

Yet, a majority of those surveyed are simply not negotiating.

Only 41% negotiated any part (salary and/or benefits) of their job offer when they started their current job, and only 21% negotiated any part of their offer on the first job they took out of school.

Why? A majority of women don’t feel comfortable or prepared to successfully negotiate their job offers.

  • 66% report not having known how to ask for more
  • 63% felt uncomfortable negotiating
  • 58% were afraid of losing their job/offer
  • 56% didn’t know what to ask for
  • 55% didn’t want to come across as pushy
  • 51% didn’t know they should ask for more

“At my old company… the HR [Manager] made me feel like the offer would be rescinded if I negotiated the salary. I later found out that he was hired for specifically this reason: he was great at offering way too little money. I wish I had negotiated my salary… I feel like my worth is lower now for any future compensation packages.” – Levo Member, 28, Chicago, IL

Here’s the problem: It’s not just you that is losing out on maximizing your earning potential or job benefits. Negotiation is critical to closing the gender pay gap and to the long-term health of organizations.

When will women’s negotiation behavior change?

Here’s what needs to happen for the survey respondents to negotiate their next job offer:

  • Job offer security (that the offer won’t disappear if they negotiate) – 88%
  • Coaching – 46%
  • Professional development tools – 34%
  • Market research – 29%
  • Mock negotiation workshops – 22%

“My first offer–I had no idea I even should negotiate. The second time when I got promoted, I did my research and reached out to a mentor who really coached me on how to approach the conversation…That guidance changed everything for me. And now I am much more confident to continue to ask for what I deserve.” – Levo Member, 24, Indianapolis, IN

Change the statistics. Learn how to #ask4more: Do your homework, practice, get inspired by influential women’s stories, and ask. 

Photo: Getty Images

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survey negotiation millennials ask4more

3 Comments

I know it can be intimidating but I show women how to earn more in my book Rise to the Top (on Amazon and Barnes and Noble). I have been a compensation consultant for 20 years and know how the compensation game is played and why some women ARE successful. I share these details and exactly what to do in my book so please check it out.

1y

I recently received my first offer in NYC and they gave me what I initially stated but shame on me for not doing my research and i probably could have asked for a little more- considering it is NYC. I still have time to negotiate but I am scared! I don't want to them to take it away! This is my first salaried job post-college! I am definitely getting payed more than some people in entry level. I don't want to seem greedy- anyone have any advice??

1y

All of these conversations about "asking for more" are so helpful. They really encourage us to ask for our worth. However, it can also be really challenging because it's a lot of pressure to be put back on women to "challenge" the status quo. I work in social services, which historically pays very low (which is understandable since many agencies lack the funding to pay a lot to their employees). And even though our economy has gotten better....many of us are still just grateful to have a job offered to us since after graduation...it still has been a challenge to find work.
I still think these posts are great but I just wanted to share my opinion as well.... :)

1y
Kathleen Harris

Kathleen is the VP, Content Development at Levo. Her editorial career path has rocketed from digital startup to print magazine startup to book publishing and all the way back around. She lives in New Jersey with her family (3 kids under the age of 3!) and enjoys cooking, planning parties, reading, and traveling...when there's time.