When you order a coffee and it’s only filled halfway, or if you go to the salon and they only cut half your hair, you would probably say something. The same goes for signing up for an hour-long class but only having it last 30 minutes – wouldn’t you speak up then, too?
When it is clear that you are being cheated, it is easy to say something. But there is another situation where you are getting taken advantage of and you probably haven’t said anything about it. Likely, you didn’t negotiate your salary when you first started at your job, and as a result, you probably make less money than your male coworker. However, many women are in the same boat.
Many people, women especially, have difficulty asking for what they want due to pre-existing biases against doing so. These could be personal beliefs that money is bad or greedy or larger social stigmas that tell women not to display any sort of ambition.
Based on a recent survey we conducted of the Levo audience, it was found that many individuals know they should negotiate, but few are doing so. The following reasons may help explain why.
Women Job-Hunters Understand the Importance of Negotiating Their Job Offers
- When venturing into a new career, the majority agree that it is important to discuss and negotiate their salary and benefits package.
- If you don’t negotiate your job offer when starting a new company, 83% of people believe they will make less money throughout their careers.
Better Business Outcomes Occur When Women Negotiate
Women who negotiated their offers at their current jobs were significantly more likely to report that they feel fairly rewarded for the work they do and that their company has a great deal of personal meaning for them, as compared to those who didn’t negotiate.
Yet, the Majority of Those Surveyed Are Simply Not Negotiating
According to a recent study, only 41% of workers negotiated their salary and/or benefits when they started their current job. Even fewer, 21%, negotiated any part of their offer on the first job they took out of school.
Why? The Majority of Women Doesn’t Feel Comfortable or Prepared To Successfully Negotiate Their Job Offers
- 66% said they didn’t know how to ask for more
- 63% of individuals felt uncomfortable negotiating.
- 58% of those surveyed were afraid of losing their job or not receiving an offer.
- 56% of survey respondents said they 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
Not only are you missing out on opportunities to earn more money or get better job benefits, but so is everyone else. If we want to close the gender pay gap, negotiation is key, not just for women’s sake, but for the good of organizations as a whole.
When Will Women’s Negotiation Behavior change?
In order to negotiate their next job offer, survey respondents need to take the following actions:
- 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 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