Special Feature: Equal Pay Day

Special Feature: Equal Pay Day

 

April 4 is Equal Pay Day. But so is July 31. And November 2. In 2017, women in America collectively would have to work until April 4 to earn what men were paid in 2016. But black women are paid 37% less, and Latinx women are paid 47%, so the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) calculated out those symbolic dates to make a point.  

The wage gap exists, and it’s discriminatory.

We all need to make this part of the discussion. The AAUW has templates for writing to your elected officials, how to write an op-ed, or host a discussion group.

You may also find this guide about how to win an argument about the gender wage gap really helpful.

It’s also worth checking out LeanIn.org’s #20percentcounts movement, a large part of which features partners like Lyft, Luna and P&G offering either 20% discounts or donations to non-profits supporting women and children to raise awareness about Equal Pay Day. This conversation has to continue until we see real results, and real equal pay. We call on companies and the government to do more - but so can we.

So here at SheHasDrive, I want to ask you a question:

When is the next time you’re going to negotiate your salary?

No really, when? Not if. Start thinking about it in the present and not-very-distant future. Better yet, think about negotiating your salary as something you’re expected to do with every new job and every time you have a review.

There are all sorts of reasons to negotiate. It add ups over time, it’s better for your 401K, women are more likely to live longer and use more retirement money, you can pay off your loans sooner, and of course, more expendable income for the fun things in life.

But the reason that really got me was when I realized that even the act of negotiating, whether or not I ultimately received what I asked for, would communicate very fundamentally that I value myself and my skills, and my company should take me seriously. If we’re all serious here about job interviews “being as much about you interviewing the company as them interviewing you," then the job offer as well as review periods are an extension of that conversation between equals.

That was a mindshift that was the most empowering for me, and helped me justify to myself why I would ask a company that may have just offered me a comfortable sum that I was worth more to them.

Here’s a challenge: ask 5 friends (male or female!) if they have ever negotiated, and have conversations about why or why not, how it went, and how to get better next time. You may be shocked at how commonplace - or not - salary negotiations are.

My advice? Learn to negotiate today. Find a workshop, watch some videos, practice with a friend. It’s a skill you have to practice, and you don’t want to be feverishly cramming how-to videos in a late night session that reminds you of college cram sessions. (But if you need to, I also recommend this guy.)

Don’t be left wondering, “Should I have asked for more?”

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