Salary Negotiation Strikes Fear Into Female Hearts

Libby Kane

Remember when you were offered a salary for your last job, and you asked if there was any room for negotiation?

Probably not.

That’s because there’s a good chance you didn’t negotiate at all.

According to survey data from LinkedIn, a quarter of United States adults admit that they’ve never negotiated their salaries. It also found that anxiety surrounding salary negotiation is highest in the United States, with 39% of professionals owning up to their nerves.

It’s not much of a stretch to assume that the bulk of these confessors are women, for when asked if they feel confident about negotiating, only 26% of women said they did–and that’s compared to 37% of men.

What Makes a Confident Negotiator?

Keeping in mind that it was issued by LinkedIn, the survey also found a correlation between being a confident negotiator and frequenting the website. If you think about it for a second, that makes perfect sense: What do LinkedIn activity and negotiating have in common? Self-promotion. If you’re comfortable advertising your accomplishments to your connections, you’re probably equally confident doing the same to your bosses.

And hey, we’re all in favor of self-promotion. Not to mention salary negotiation, one of our absolute favorite topics. Let’s review, shall we? As grateful as you might be for a starting salary (and we know that Gen Y especially might be thanking the job search gods), it’s the basis for every raise you will ever get. So the higher, the better, for many years out.

Ask, Ask, Ask

There are piles of research finding that women aren’t asking for raises, as well as research finding that they are asking, but their bosses are having none of it, and research showing that women under-promote themselves. With all of this research telling us how ineffective we are, it’s no wonder we’re anxious!

But you know what? We aren’t statistics. We’re individuals, and our career trajectory depends largely on our choices. And we choose to start asking for what we want … after building up our nerve, of course.

Inspired? Resolute? Kind of hungry? Then read through our tips on how best to ask for a raise.

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  • David Larson

    Thanks for addressing this subject as it is one that is very close to my heart. However, I have a problem with the very first sentence of the article…the part that says “you asked if there was any room for negotiation.”

    The problem is that when you are negotiating salary you should never ask permission to begin negotiating. If, you do that then you are just negotiating whether or not you have the right to negotiate in the first place.

    Repeat after me: “Everything in life is negotiable.” Repeat it to yourself as you fall asleep at night and first thing in the morning. Those five simple words can change your life. 

    Of course that doesn’t mean that you’ll always get what you want, but first you have to ask. I’m convinced that just like with any other skill, negotiating will make you anxious unless you first develop the skills to do it well. I promise you that once you become a skilled negotiator, you will actually search out opportunities to negotiate.

    I write a blog about negotiating salary (appropriately titled and I have written loads of articles to help teach men and women how to negotiate. Educate yourself first, and then get out there and ask for more money. If we’re going to close the gender pay inequality gap, we have to do it one woman at a time!

    Happy Negotiating,