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Urgent: Salary negotiations for women?

July 7, 2016

I'm hoping to receive a job offer tomorrow or Friday. I'm in a typically well paid field, in a city where many companies in this field exist, my experience seems in line with what they are looking for and, not to jinx it, but I feel reasonably confident about how I performed during the hours of interviewing I went through. Additionally, one of the big, popular benefits does not apply to me (something like free steak lunch while I'm vegetarian, or free excellent child care even though I'm barren, that sort of thing, I'm being intentionally light on specifics).

Unlike every previous job, I've managed to sidestep the "how much do you make/how much do you want" question. I've let it be known that my general desires are to earn "market rates."

So, I'm in the process of researching exactly what market rates are. So no need to advise me to do that.

My question is: do you have any woman specific advice for the salary negotiations?

To quote an article:

As we practice it in the United States, negotiation is a man’s game with men’s rules.

At bargaining tables, women’s biggest obstacle isn’t that they can’t learn to be “more like men.” The real problem is that most people, men and women alike, don’t want them to be more like men.

The traits that both men and women associate with good negotiators are tied up with ideas of masculinity — such as rationality, assertiveness and self-assurance — rather than more feminine traits, such as emotionality and accommodation.

If women aren’t seen as tough enough at negotiating, why not just train them to “man up”? Unfortunately, even when they do employ traditionally male tactics, women still lose. Underlying our assumptions about what makes a good negotiator is the idea that it’s okay — even necessary — to aggressively pursue one’s self-interest when bargaining. It’s not a sign of being selfish; it’s what we expect. But we don’t expect it in women.

Researchers repeatedly have documented that people react more unfavorably to women who ask for more money, compared with men who do. A woman who negotiates is seen as especially demanding and therefore a less-than-ideal new colleague. In a series of controlled experiments in the 1990s, a Rutgers University study found that women risk being passed over for hire if they engage in self-promotion in job interviews, defying expectations of “feminine modesty.” More than a decade later, Harvard and Carnegie Mellon researchers found that the effect persisted, with women facing backlash when behaving assertively in negotiations. To be demanding in a business setting is to be unfeminine, unseemly, shrewish or worse. This body of research underscores a cultural truth: Women are expected to be warm, empathetic and unselfish.

What? There's biological differences between the sexes, and men don't like shrews? Say it ain't so!

Most information on negotiating seems to be for men, and most the information for women seems to be "don't be afraid to act like a man." I feel that there must be a better way. To achieve my goals via warmth, and the appearance of accommodation, rather than ill received stubbornness.

It's also possible I've completely overestimated my suitability for this job and my performance during the interview process, so this might not end up being an urgent request. Fingers crossed, though!!!

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Post Information
Title Urgent: Salary negotiations for women?
Author Lilia42
Upvotes 12
Comments 11
Date July 7, 2016 3:27 AM UTC (7 years ago)
Subreddit /r/RedPillWomen
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[–]timeforstretchpants 11 points12 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Maybe men approach negotiation with their poker faces on? I've always been smiley and expressed delight that they've offered me a job.

When they talk salary, I've said things like "I'm really excited to come work with you; is there any way we can... (change out x benefit for a higher salary, talk about shifting my work hours, etc)" or "You told me I exceeded your desired qualifications, so I was hoping for a salary closer to $X "

Smiling and gracious through it all, of course. I try to show that I know I'm an asset, but I also have the budget/needs of the company in mind.

Not sure if this was valuable. Since you're going in to this with an idea of the salary your position earns, make that known without sounding like a demanding snob

[–]Lilia42[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Helpful! I think that when I get called about the interview results, I'll make a note of any complimentary statements he makes (on top of thanking him for the favorable assessment of my skills).

Then, when it comes to brass tacks, I can throw back, in a friendly manner, "I was hoping for something in the range of X and Y, hopefully we can come to some arrangement. I'm really excited about Z aspect of the company, and I'm reall pleased that you think K would make me a valuable employee."

[–]aenigme 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Maybe men approach negotiation with their poker faces on?

We do. This is anecdotal, but I am at a point in my career were I let it be known that I can refuse their offer before they even make one. Decide what it is you want in your life at this moment and be comfortable with the decision. It will show in your body language.

[–]FleetingWishEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Usually, I tend to be more hard on offers I can refuse and softer on ones I really want. My strategy is to let them say what their offer is first, and then say back, "I was thinking more in the range of x to xx" (where this is higher than the salary they stated, no matter what the original offer is).

You do not need to justify your request by saying "I am not going to use those other benefits" or "I am a hard worker" or "I am more qualified" or anything else. Just state what you want, and then let them decide if they will match it.

Now, they may or may not give you the raise, but either way, you still have the option of accepting the job anyway. Just as long as you don't use hard sells like, "I won't do it for any less then x." Save lines like this for when you are really willing to walk.

Also, adjust your asking price based on how much you want the job. If you really want it, only ask for a little more than they are offering, if you're willing to walk, ask for a lot more.

[–]Lilia42[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Great advice, thanks!

[–]Equilibriun 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

" I appreciate the offer, to be fair and honest, this won't cover what I need."

Wait for them to ask " what is it that you need"

" I need this and that in order to feel confident in taking the position"

It's how I raised my salary by about 6 grand. One phone call. Always give a counter offer.

[–]JackGetsItEndorsed Contributor 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm going to give you a very short answer as to why men are better at salary negotiations. Men are ready to walk away from the table. You can't be a good negotiator if you don't walk into that room 100% ready to walk back out. Women struggle with this because they are naturally risk averse.

[–]Mentathiel 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

This might not be an accurate observation, but I find that men respond better when I mix up my rationality with playfulness. If you, say, show a bit of arrogance, by a quick smirk or a chuckle when they try to cheat you out of a part of your salary, they get challenged and start seeing it more as a game. They're not that disturbed by me going out of my traditional borders, because they feel like I'm just playing and when the game's over I'll retreat right back there. This is also useful for flirting, by the way. But prolong it too much, and you've gotten yourself in trouble, because you've truly challenged them, rather than playfully. So use the shortest possible time frame after getting them to this state of mind to actually negotiate and then proceed to very clearly show your feminine side in some way, such as saying happily that you're so glad you could come to an agreement so quickly and happy to be of such value to them.

[–]Freiling 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

Same as with any other negotiation: power is the ability to walk away. I take my target salary and tell me someone else is offering that much.

If they match it, great!

If they don't match it but come close, I'll make up some bullshit about how they're a better fit anyway. I get almost to my goal (which would be a highball amount anyway), and they get the flattery of their company being chosen despite a lower offer.

[–]CommentsAndCriticism 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

If the interviewers are men, dress pretty and wear make up. If the interviewers are women, dress very modestly and little if any make up.

[–]VigilantRedRoosterModerator 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'm a business owner with experience interviewing and employing women.

Most information on negotiating seems to be for men, and most the information for women seems to be "don't be afraid to act like a man." I feel that there must be a better way. To achieve my goals via warmth, and the appearance of accommodation, rather than ill received stubbornness.

The problem with this advice is, it doesn't distill the essential elements of how a man would negotiate, which results in people emulating what they think a man would do through the wrong elements. It sounds like a comedy sketch where a woman says, "I'm a man!" in a mock deep voice that comes out, "Ummm uh muuuuun!"

The last thing ANY candidate of any gender should be in an interview is AGRESSIVE. You want to be assertive, which many conflate with aggressiveness, but it means stating your position while taking the other's position into account. This can be done with feminine grace and ease to your advantage. Keep it professional and don't lay the charm on too thickly.

I remember one woman I interviewed, who kept interrupting me, and arguing with me. The interview was cut short, and she stood firmly and said, "Well do I get the job or what?!?!"

  • Mock aggression will work against you
  • Be charming and graceful, but in a professional manner. This is a job interview, not a casual coffee klatch. Be goal-oriented and remember, your interview is but one thing on the company's plate at any given moment. Take care not to ramble on and on, or way off topic.
  • There are other similar firms in town? A man would have walked his resume to ALL of them, and come to the interview with firsthand knowledge of what jobs are out there and what the competition is offering. This gives you solid frame when negotiating, and brings objectivity to salary negotiations.
  • Negotiate according to the value you bring to the company, not what the company can do for you. State what you are looking for to motivate moving to the new company, but justify it in terms of the value you'll bring to the company, not your needs. It's the same principle as a dating profile that lists 1,001 things she expects in a man, but not one word about what she brings to the table. Don't do that!
  • You can be a lot more assertive about your needs WHEN you conspicuously take the company's needs into account too before you're perceived as pushy or shrewish. This offers a foundation of mutual respect.
  • Negotiations from knowledge are perceived as shrewd. Negotiations from need are perceived as shrew. To wit: "X is a competitive wage in this industry because company Y and Z have offered this amount for similar responsibilities and I know I bring this much value to your company." as opposed to "I need X if you want me to work here. I have (bills they don't give a tinker's damn about) and I think I DESERVE this much!"

Bottom line, to negotiate like a man, don't act like you think a man would act; assert yourself but in terms of the values you exchange as employer-employee and in a feminine but businesslike manner.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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