Today is Equal Pay Day. Join the ladies of Blavity on discussing the importance of Equal Pay for equal work by using #BlavityEqualPay.

One of the hardest things to do as a woman in the work place is negotiate a salary that is fair, equitable and comparable to your male counterparts. As a woman, at some point you will hear the daunting statistics—women only make approximately 78 cents to every man’s dollar. If you’re a woman of color, African-American or a Latina, those statistics plummet to 64 and 56 cents.*

Every year, women leave thousands of dollars on the table by failing to negotiate higher wages before starting a job or through raises. The process of negotiation isn’t easy and is especially daunting given the lack of compensation transparency for all sectors of employment. Overall, men make more money than women even in fields that are female dominated such as nursing and teaching.

Negotiating your salary is a scary process. The women of Blavity are here to help you navigate salary negotiation and promotion 101. Here are some tips and words of inspiration from our team:


It’s Okay to Want to More:

2Women who are unapologetic about wanting more are often depicted as being pushy, bossy, controlling or worse bitchy. No one questions a man when he’s assertive or demands for the things he wants. The first thing you need to know as you prepare to enter into this process is that you’re entitled to want more. If you’re doing your job well then you should be compensated for your work. (Insert Kayci Ortiz’s photo and quote)

Prepare to Talk About Your Skills:3

Document all of the work that you have done: special projects, product launches and time spent on anything extra. Research the salary and compensation of individuals within your industry. Pay special attention to the salaries of men who have similar employment experience, education and training as yours. It’s normal to feel anxious or nervous about discussing your salary, but preparation helps to ease your stress and build your case.

Invest in yourself


If the role or position you want doesn’t exist, create it. Our culture is shifting quickly and that presents a perfect opportunity for you to become a domain expert. When negotiating don’t be afraid to think outside the box and get creative about your potential responsibilities. Create your own value and invest in yourself to break ceilings.

Be Direct:


Once you compiled all your research, and spent time practicing your pitch, present your case. Remember, this isn’t a favor that your asking of your employer so be firm in your emails and in-person conversations. If you wanted to be a volunteer at your office, you would.

Ask in Honor of Your Mama/Auntie/Granny and All Your Sheroes:


If your mama is anything like mine, seeking a counter offer from your employer is a no-no. For many of us women of color, our grandmothers, mothers and aunts were raised in an era when women had little financial control. Many of them worked countless hours while being undercompensated. When women negotiate, we honor those who came before us and didn’t have the voice or opportunity to demand more.


Think About the Next Woman:


If EVERY woman showed up to her job requiring that she be treated equally and compensated fairly from the jump, we might not be have as many problems. Being silent while being mistreated should never be accepted. Not every work environment is a safe one to speak out in, but if you can, advocate for yourself. When we don’t do this we send a message to our employers that it’s acceptable to not remunerate ourselves, and the next woman, equitably.


You’re a Boss in Training Who Deserves All Her Coin:


Do men have 22%, 36% or 44% more of a capacity to think and function than us? Of course not! Regardless of what anyone might tell you, instating Equal Pay across the board isn’t just a feminist issue. By underpaying half of the population, we’re missing out on innovative contributions to the sciences, arts and humanity. It’s really hard to focus on creating new stuff when you’re juggling multiple jobs in order to have liveable wage. 

Ladies you deserve every dollar, dime and Bitcoin that’s out there! 

*United States Department of Labor

Let us know your great tips on how to negotiate for a higher pay.

Comment below, or tweet us @blavitylife and @The_Afronista  #BlavityEqualPay.

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