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PayScale Survey Finds Women Less Likely To Negotiate Salary Increase

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Jan. 13 2015, Published 2:00 a.m. ET

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With a brand new year underway, many individuals have set many personal and professional goals they would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. For many, the goal of landing a new job with a better salary sits at the very top of the list.

But did you know that many professionals are reluctant to negotiate a better salary? According to a study of 31,000 people conducted by Payscale, the world’s largest compensation database, less than half – that’s 43 percent – of survey respondents have ever asked for a raise in their current field. For the 57 percent who have not asked, the reasons most oftencited are:

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  • My employer gave me a raise before I needed to ask for one (38 percent)
  • I’m uncomfortable negotiating salary (28 percent)
  • I didn’t want to be perceived as pushy (19 percent)

To take it a step further, of surveyors that identified themselves as millennials, only 37 percent has ever asked for a raise in their current field.

Now, being known as such the forward-thinking, out-spoken, risk-taking generation that we are, don’t you find that quite odd? What could possibly make it so difficult to ask for what you’re worth?

In the recent release of their Annual Salary Negotiation Guide, Payscale highlights a number of variables within their data, but in this piece I will specifically focus on the how that data relates to millennial women.

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Throughout the negotiation guide, PayScale reiterates just three steps that professionals of any age can use to gain a better understanding of what they should be earning: research, strategy and negotiation. The guide also includes articles from  a  number of experts in the fields of finance, management and human resources that provide a deeper analysis of PayScale’s data.

Research:

Author Jen Hubley Luckwaldt sheds light on why women may not be as comfortable with asking for a raise. According to PayScale’s research, 30 percent of the millennial women that were surveyed said that they hadn’t negotiated a raise because “they had received one before asking for one.” That’s great, and I’m going to let you finish — but 35 percent of millennial females were most likely to say that they do not negotiate because they are afraid of being seen as pushy, while only 25 percent of millennial males said the same.

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Strategize: 

Now that we know the problem, it’s time to strategize how women can earn what they’re worth. Editorial and Marketing director Lydia Frank explains that when it comes to asking for a raise timing is impeccable. “If your company has a regular performance review schedule,” she writes, “try to have a conversation about your compensation a couple months in advance so that your boss has time to make a case and advocate for budget ahead of that process.” Ladies, I know we’re great at making to-do lists, so be sure to keep a solid paper trail of your accomplishments and any other documents of your progress that will support your negotiation for a raise in salary.

Negotiate: 

Finally, it’s time to negotiate. In order to effectively negotiate what you’re worth, you must first know your salary range. Known as the world’s “most influential guidance counselor,” Penelope Trunk suggests that you wait until the interviewer provides the range salary of the position, avoiding the possibility of missing out on money that you should be earning. “Also, by the time the interviewer has asked two or three times,” Trunk writes, “the interviewer will know that hiring you means having a tough negotiator on his team — another reason to make you a good salary offer.”

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Additionally, Margaret Magnarelli of Money Magazine offers ways in which we as women can move out of our own way, and finally break the vicious cycle of women being undervalued in the work place. Ladies, we should be focused on a particular amount of money or the fact that Beyonce exclaims that we work our 9-to-5, “so they better cut our check.”

“Instead, start by gathering data from sites like Payscale to find out the average pay for the field, position, and location, regardless of gender,” Magnarelli writes. “But—since women’s lower pay will be figured into these averages—also ask higher-level men in your field for their input.”

We should consult those seasoned male professionals and mentors often that can advise us in our decision making beyond salary negotiation, but also career advancement.

The PayScale Salary Negotiation Guide provides great insight into how professionals who are at any stage of their careers can learn more about salary negotiation, and which tools are at their disposal to ensure that they are receiving what they are worth in the work place.

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