Women are paid less than men, and today there is no country where this monstrous discrimination could be completely overcome at the national level. The best (but not excellent) performances are shown by small European countries such as Iceland or Belgium. But in Russia, the situation is completely unenviable: back in September, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets announced that women in the country earn a quarter less than men (read also: "This is sexism: how modern society humiliates women"). In the spring, Izvestia, citing Rosstat, stated that in 2017 men received an average of 29.3% more than women. Differences are generally thought to be caused by the nature of the industry and the low representation of women in leadership positions. However, there is another important reason:As it turned out, women, in comparison with men, themselves much less often raise the issue of raising wages, and therefore do not receive what, in fact, they deserve.
Waiting for the worst
And the point is not that women are supposedly bad negotiators. As practice shows, the problem lies in the cultural background, as well as in the public prejudice that women always have to choose between career and family. “The data shows that it is as if women are paying a forfeit every time they are married and have children,” Jen Luckwaldt, an expert at PayScale, an analyst of the US labor market, told The balance careers, “even if they never put family above their work. This means that the wage gap is partly due to unconscious biases. Even if women occupy the same positions as their male colleagues and do the same amount of work, they will still be considered less ambitious workers.”
In this regard, overcoming the threshold of prejudice and initiating a conversation with the employer about increasing wages becomes a real challenge for women. Moreover, often the argument "try - not torture" simply does not apply to them. For example, an interesting experiment was conducted by the Elsevier company, which studied the behavior of men and women during negotiations for a wage increase. The study showed that women receive rejections many times more often than men - and, often, along with the rejection, they also face universal condemnation for initiating a conversation. Moreover, the gender of those who decided whether or not to satisfy the employee's request also played a role. For example, women refused to ask applicants in approximately the same gender proportion, while men more often agreed to raise the salary only for employees of the same gender.
Thus, it is not uncommon for women to assess all the social costs before starting a conversation with their bosses about money - that is, the consequences that they will have to face after an unpleasant conversation. In other words, ladies tend to read the corporate environment in advance and convince themselves that defending their own interests will cost them potential penalties from the employer. So it turns out that while their male colleagues easily knock out a raise for themselves, women obediently work and remain silent - according to Glassdoor (the site forms ratings of American companies), about 60 percent of women believe that it is unacceptable to discuss salaries with an employer.
When to decide
Of course, at the beginning of a career, rarely will anyone inquire about the possibility of an increase, because most often starting positions in many companies have a fixed salary. However, over the years the situation has changed, and the gender gap is only widening. This is especially true for top positions: here the amount of salary is often not just amenable to discussion and bargaining, but also much more depends on the personal and professional characteristics of the candidate. And this is where the gender factor comes in.
As practice shows, women agree to a lower salary in comparison with male colleagues. As a result, their salary increase is much poorer: after all, if you earn less now, it means that you will also be offered less - in proportion to your current income.
Meanwhile, this is where the main danger of "women's silence" lies: as it turns out, the psychological costs that employees are so afraid of incurring as a result of a initiated conversation cannot be compared with the real amounts that they lose annually. Thus, according to the estimates of economist Linda Babcock, on average, American women lose half a million dollars for fear of asking for a raise in their entire professional life. Do I need to explain how this affects gender equality at the scale of one office in particular and on a global scale as a whole?
How to negotiate
According to a report by the World Economic Forum, it will take humanity about a hundred years to completely overcome gender discrimination in the field of work. In the meantime, sexist biases persist in offices around the world, women have to play by their own rules.
As business coaches note, many ladies in this kind of negotiations refuse to use their main advantage - the ability to build strong personal relationships. Often women are afraid to ask for something in order not to spoil these very relationships, however, maybe they should look at the issue from a different angle? After all, where there are strong human ties, it is always more difficult to refuse … Especially when it comes to a soft request, and not an ultimatum demand.
A few hacks on how to get the desired increase if the employer is primarily looking at your gender, not professional skills.
Before making an appointment with an employer, conduct an industry research and calculate your own “market value” - that is, determine the level of wages that would be acceptable with your skills, professionalism and experience. You may have to talk to other workers in the field of interest to you or your classmates (ideally, both men and women) who have already taken place in the profession.
Take your time to announce the amount
Many experts advise not to voice your salary expectations until the recruiter is the first to offer you a preliminary salary - then you will be sure that you are not “cheap”. If you were asked to indicate the desired amount in your resume, then try adding 10-15% to it. Then during the "bargaining" you will agree on the salary that you originally expected.
Shift the focus to benefits for the company
It's good when you know “how much you are worth,” but it's even better if you can explain what your employer will get for this money. Tell him how your contribution will affect the firm's bottom line, or use an example of your past experience. It is advisable to back up your statements with specific facts and figures in order to sound even more convincing.
Follow the speech
Your chances of getting a raise diminish with every hesitant "maybe I could" or "maybe you should." Confidence in statements is important in negotiations, which means that all the wording should be clearer (for example, "let's try this"). Another common mistake is intonation. Speech experts point out that often ladies tend to end sentences on a questioning note, while only affirmative statements are of true value in this case.
Don't be afraid of silence
We often tend to perceive silence as a communication error, trying to fill the silence that has reigned with at least some words. As a result, many people run the risk of saying too much and only exacerbate their situation. Meanwhile, experts advise not to interrupt the silence with empty conversations: perhaps if your employer is silent, it means that he carefully thinks over your words. Don't mislead him.
As the well-known cliché says, "a good conversationalist is, first of all, a good listener." In fact, you don't always need to talk incessantly for the employer to heed your aspirations. Often it is enough to simply state your request and then simply listen to what the other side of the negotiations has to say, in order, in extreme cases, to adjust your expectations and not spoil the relationship.
Be interested in other bonuses too
Flexible hours, insurance, the opportunity to work remotely or to receive advanced training courses at the expense of the company - all this may not apply to your salary, but sometimes it can be estimated even higher than the salary. Explain how these bonuses can improve your productivity and, ultimately, increase the company's bottom line.
Psychologically, it can be difficult to initiate negotiations on salary increases, as there is an important issue at stake. On the other hand, negotiation is as much a skill as swimming. It's just worth starting small. Experts advise you to develop this talent in yourself gradually: for example, try to hand over the item to the store after the expiration of the warranty period or negotiate a discount. Over time, your self-confidence will grow, and your susceptibility to rejection, on the contrary, will decrease - and a potential conversation with your boss will no longer seem like a matter of life and death.
Photo: Getty Images
- How to respond to awkward interview questions (and get the job you want)
- What is harassment in Russian and how you can (and should) fight it
- 8 surprising (but true) facts about watermelon