Women: Get the Salary You Deserve
Women in general, including women in the life sciences, the area in which Clark Executive Search recruits, do not get as high a salary as men. There has been much written on this subject including a post I wrote titled “ Women Make Less Money than Men in Pharma & Academia”. Often woman are their own worst enemy and do not take responsibility for themselves for getting the right salary. Here are a few tips that women should follow in order to get that better salary or compensation package:
1. Realize that employers are running a business to be profitable. The employer will not be protective or paternal and play fair. The employer will try to pay the least amount possible and he will not have the woman’s or any candidate’s best interests in mind.
2. Play hard to get (a bit). Some women project the image during an interview that they are just grateful to land a job. The employer then takes advantage of the situation and lowballs the offer, knowing the candidate will accept any offer to secure the job. Even if a candidate is desperate for a job, they should not appear this way.
4. Recognize that there are more ways to better the overall offer than just the salary component. All parts of a package are negotiable such as more paid vacation or sick days, help with housing if there is relocation involved, company car (joke; not too many offer this except at CEO levels), or paid gym membership.
5. Do not be afraid to negotiate and take your time to review and consider the salary offered. Too often I have had my female candidates accept the first offer with little to no negotiation. As a recruiter, I am paid by the client and it is not my place to be involved with trying to get a better offer. I can relay the message to my client about a reasonable counteroffer by the candidate, but it is up to the candidate to initiate the conversation. Most employers leave some wiggle room for negotiation and you have to find the point at which they will no longer increase an offer. You can only do this by asking for more than what is offered and test the waters. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Remember the employer will not get mad at you. In fact, he will probably have more respect for you because you stood up for what you think you are worth.
6. Even if you don’t need the money, be sure to ask for fair compensation. If your husband works and your income is secondary, it hurts women everywhere if you accept a lower salary than necessary. If you don’t care about a higher salary, perhaps you can negotiate a better benefits package as mentioned in tip #4 to be sure the compensation is fair.
After you accept the salary you deserve and start your new job, immediately develop a plan to get your next job. Get the education and seek out the experiences you’ll need to move forward.
Related: These have to be the best graphs on interviewing that I have seen by Liz Fosslien. Very funny, but also good information.
06/17/13 GenomeWeb 11th Annual salary survey; might require a login( free); Women still make less than men in most positions
Here is another study about women in science making less then men from the WSJ