Women and the Power of Negotiation

By Hannah Sherman, JWI Intern

Movies like Nine to Five show women as powerful business people, confident and able to lead companies. While this is absolutely true, there tends to be one area in the business world where many women don’t feel as comfortable—negotiating a salary; men are four times as likely to initiate salary negotiations as their female counterparts. Additionally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns—horrifying and unfair, but true. In our society where that pesky glass ceiling is still very much intact, it is important for women to learn the value of negotiating a salary, being confident in asking for a raise.

Her Campus wrote an article titled, Women Don’t Talk: Why speaking up can be one of the best things you’ll ever do professionally, and how to do it, providing useful information on how to get practice and become more comfortable in these—many times—awkward situations. By starting to work on these skills as an undergraduate, you will be able to get the training that will bolster your confidence in the workplace in the future. One example the article uses is negotiating with a professor on a paper you feel has been mis-graded. By politely and respectfully speaking up, listening to the professor’s viewpoints and then having a mutual discussion, you will gain the invaluable experience of negotiating.

Our salaries are the most important financial component in our lives, and not something to take lightly. Even a small raise in salary makes a huge difference in the lives we lead, proving the importance of the power of negotiating. And if you need something more to amp up your confidence, I think this little number will help.

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