Whether you are figuring out how to negotiate a salary increase for a current or new position or financing for your female-owned business, there are practical steps women can take to be empowered when negotiating.
For women negotiating salary and higher pay, there is still a tendency to be reluctant to talk about money in the workplace. Considering women own 40% of small businesses in the U.S. and only 25% seek financing, it appears the issue doesn’t disappear when outside a corporate setting.
- You are worth negotiating for
- Every effort makes a difference
- Be informed, Be bold
7 Tips for Women Negotiating Salary and Financing
1. Get comfortable with smaller negotiations
If the thought of negotiating and discussing money causes stress and anxiety, then practicing the negotiation on a smaller scale may help ease some of the tension. Examples of this might be calling to secure a lower rate with cable television, asking for better financing terms with a credit card company, or negotiating a business loan for women.
These little victories can go a long way towards building confidence in yourself. Plus you will reap the benefit with your personal finances of whatever new terms or rates you negotiated.
2. Do your research
The old adage “knowledge is power” is definitely true in the world of negotiations. Thorough research and a solid understanding of what people in your field are currently earning are critical to negotiations.
Researching has two major benefits. One, it gives you facts to work with when you are discussing payment during negotiations at work. When money talks become uncomfortable, you can lean on what you know to be true for your line of work or business.
Thorough research also keeps you from wasting your time on applying for positions that are grossly underpaying what you know you should be earning. When you see a salary range and it is far below (or above) and is too far apart to work for you, then you know to move on.
3. Know your own worth
When you are researching salaries and companies, it’s important to turn those same research skills inward too. Take time to evaluate your career accomplishments and what you have brought to the table with your current company and position. Being able to speak directly about your contributions, whether it’s increased revenue, saving X amount of dollars in expenses, or training new team members are examples of the value you bring.
When you know your accomplishments and direct contributions, it is one more way to build confidence and provide fact-based evidence of why you should receive what you’re requesting.
4. Realize it is okay to ask for more money
It takes practice, but women negotiating salary and higher pay need to realize asking for more is acceptable. Some hiring managers will tell you it is expected for a qualified candidate to ask for more money. It may feel uncomfortable or even unnatural, but you should not feel any guilt for asking what you are worth. Plus, it is a way to close the gender pay gap.
By not negotiating when necessary, you could be leaving money and valuable benefits on the table. You will never know what you could have received if you are too afraid to ask.
5. Think beyond the paycheck
As you are conducting research and setting up a time to ask for higher pay, it is also a good idea to look beyond the salary. Make sure you consider other benefits that have significant value to your entire compensation package, not simply a paycheck. Examples of this include paid time off, flex hours, or additional healthcare benefits.
When you choose to focus on the entire package and not a single number, it gives you more to negotiate with, plus it may help you choose a job that is a better fit for your lifestyle and finances.
6. Practice makes perfect
Practice before you start to have conversations around increased compensation. Put together a sample script of how you will ask for more, why you deserve the additional money based on your contributions, plus the value you will bring to the existing or new organization.
As you are practicing, you will feel more comfortable focusing on yourself and talking about your strengths and accomplishments, for example you may have had experience as a women entrepreneur. You can take it a step further and practice with someone, like a friend or family member whose opinion you trust, and iron out the details of your negotiations.
7. Stay positive
Staying positive is one of the most critical aspects for women negotiating salary increases. There is no guarantee your negotiations will be successful or yield the results you expect, but you do have control over your own reaction.
Staying positive also means how you talk to yourself when the outcome doesn’t match expectations. You need to remind yourself your worth is not determined by a specific number.
The bottom line for women negotiating salary and financing
The gender pay gap continues to exist. The latest research from PayScale shows women currently earn $.81 for every dollar men earn. Every time you ask for an increase and are rewarded with it, you are helping to close the gap as well as improving your own financial outlook.
Having confidence in your negotiating skills can not only benefit you with your salary, but can also give you an advantage securing financing solutions for your business.
Whether you’re an expert negotiator or you need a bit more practice, finding lenders that provide specialized financing programs for women, such as Biz2credit, makes the process that much smoother. You can review offers of the most recommended small business loans for women in our article. Use your skills and the resources available to you to guide you as you make important financial decisions about your own career or business.