It's a fact: women get paid less than men. Although the gender gap is narrowing, there are still leaps and bounds we need to take to even out this unfair discrepancy. We're obviously not going to be handed what we deserve, so we need to start asking for it.
A recent Huffpost Women article pointed out a grave mistake that women are making straight out from college—they aren't negotiating their first salary. This will set them back in the long run, because if a woman starts off her career track earning less money than a man, it will be harder to narrow the salary gap and catch up. This seems to be a prevalent problem. According to a study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, female grads are earning 17 percent less than their male counterparts, and that's partly due to the fact that they're not negotiating.
What's the solution to this? Well, we need to start negotiating for the salary we deserve. The first few steps to earning our worth, Huffpost Women says, include researching the pay. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Go to Your College Career Center
Take advantage of the resources your expensive tuition provides you, and ask the counselors at your school to give an estimate of what your fellow classmates are making in a particular field. Schools tend to regularly poll their students for salary statistics, and the information will give you a more accurate idea of what someone with your profile can expect to earn. Counselors may also be able to share personal anecdotes of what other students in similar situations are making.
Check Out Online Salary Tools
There are a ton of helpful online salary tools that can give you a rough gauge of how much to negotiate for. Take a look at Indeed.com to see what figure their salary search comes up with. What I like about Indeed's salary tool is that it's very simple, so it's a good website to start with. If your company is big enough, you may be able to find out the pay of employees through anonymous salary quotes at Glassdoor.com.
Ask Your Employer for the Range
When your employer asks how much salary you're expecting (remember: don't ask them about pay if they don't talk about it in your interview!), respond in kind with, "What's the pay range for my position?" Think about that information and tell them you'll get back to them after you sit on it for a while.