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Career coaches for black women on negotiating your salary and fighting a low offer

Salary negotiations can be nerve-racking with the anxiety and fear that often comes with asking for more money at work. But for women, especially women of color, failure to negotiate your salary can have long-term consequences for your earnings throughout your career.

Today, the average woman who works full time, full year earns 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. For many women of color, this wage gap is even larger, with black women earning 63 cents for every dollar earned by white men, and Native American and Latin women earning 60 cents and 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar earned by men. white.

This pay gap, which has shrunk by just 3 cents over the past 30 years for black women, according to the National Women’s Law Center, means black women have to work until Aug. 3, 2021 to achieve the same pay as white men won in 2020. Over a 40-year career, black women stand to lose $ 964,400 due to this wage gap, with Native American women and Latinos losing even more, reports the NWLC.

Prejudice and discrimination certainly contribute to this disparity, according to reports. But, there are also things that individuals can do to help increase their pay.

For Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, CNBC Make It spoke to six Black Women’s Career Coaches about their top tips for negotiating your pay at work and their top tips for countering a lowball deal if you get any. a.

Sherry Sims, Founder of the Black Career Women’s Network

Sherry Sims, Founder of the Black Career Women’s Network.

Photo courtesy of the subject.

What you need to know before negotiating your salary

The first thing to do is do your research because there are some things you should consider when talking about salary. One is the size of the company, as this will sometimes determine the salary scale. Also, what is the median salary for your market because the same job in Chicago might not pay the same if you are in a small town in Texas. Then also look at the experience and education requirements for the job to see if they give more weight to one over the other as that can be a determining factor as well.

Then, once you’ve done your research, you want to see what you need in terms of pay and make sure you’re asking for what you get for your value and that it’s reasonable. So do your homework to prepare first, then educate yourself as well, as many women don’t know that it is illegal in the majority of states for an employer to ask about your salary history.

Jacqueline Twillie, founder of ZeroGap

Founder of ZeroGap Jacqueline Twillie

Photo credit: Cat Harper

Resources for finding the market rate for your industry

One of the big things that I see really hurt a lot of black women is that they’ll base their salary expectations on maybe their monthly expenses or what a peer earns instead of getting the market rate directly. And when people get the market rate, their next mistake is they only get the online data from maybe Glassdoor or Salary.com. These are great starting points, but we don’t know how old this data is and we don’t know who submitted this data, so it’s important to check the facts. I like the Blind app and the Fishbowl app as a place to get real-time insight if you don’t have people in your network who can give you solid market rate data points.

What to do if you get an offer below the market rate

If you receive a lowball offer, you must counter it. But, I tell people all the time to express their enthusiasm for the offer, even if it’s lowball. Say, “I’m glad I got the offer. I want to move on. However, I’m disappointed that it’s below the market rate and just want to focus on delivering the job without worrying about it. money and stuff. What can we do to hit the market rate for this role? “

So this is the way to counter a low bid, but be prepared to back out [because] what I generally find with black women is that they end up in a cycle where they think they will step in the door and then it will and it does not work and they end up looking for another job. .

Kimberly Cummings, Career and Leadership Development Expert

Kimberly Cummings, Career Development and Leadership Expert.

Photo courtesy of the subject.

Tips for articulating your value

It is so important that you are competent and confident in assessing your own worth and that you can express it throughout the interview process. One of the biggest mistakes I see professionals make, especially women of color, is failing to express their worth when they first interact with the employer. If you wait until the last possible second when they offer you a job with X pay, it’s almost too late to re-enter and go back and express your worth.

Many times women of color can go into their interview process feeling discouraged, overwhelmed or undervalued and underestimated and they really allow impostor syndrome to take hold. It is very important that when they have these [salary] conversations that they lose as much weight as possible and that they are having about the results and impact they have had in the workplace.

Sometimes I see people don’t want to talk about what they did because maybe it wasn’t important to their last boss. Maybe their boss didn’t care if they were running a multi-million dollar project or building something from scratch so they learned how to diminish their accomplishments. But, when you are in an interview process to negotiate your salary, now is the time to introduce yourself and show off without apologizing.

Ariel Lopez, Career Coach and CEO of Hello Knac

Career Coach and Entrepreneur Ariel Lopez.

Photo credit: Ariel Lopez

The biggest mistake to avoid when negotiating salary

I think if you talk to a recruiter and they ask you what you want to do, you always want to give a range and never an exact number. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes people make because once you give an exact number it kind of puts you out of the race to get more.

So quick example: If you make say $ 60,000 and ideally want to make $ 70,000 in your next role, when the recruiter asks you how much you are looking for, let them know that everything you are interviewing for is between the range of $ 70,000 to $ 90,000. So usually what will happen is the recruiter will come back and most of the time they will meet you halfway. So if the range is $ 70,000 to $ 90,000 they can come back with $ 80,000 and now you’ve just increased your base to $ 20,000 without really having to try.

How to fix a pay gap in a job you already have

First of all, before you even have a conversation with HR or your manager, you need to take a moment to literally write down everything you’ve done in the business since you’ve been there and what you’ve accomplished. I just suggest always keeping an open document of these things because at the end of the day, that’s your leverage.

Then when you go sit down and have a conversation, whether you’re talking about a pay gap or just asking for a raise, those are the justifications. If you’re talking about getting paid less than someone who is a coworker of yours, then companies know they can have a lot of trouble with that, so that’s a big part of the leverage. But, the other part of this leverage is your balance sheet. So whenever you can talk about it, here’s how long I’ve been here, here’s everything I’ve worked on, here’s the top accounts I’ve brought into the business, here’s how much money I have brought into the business or that’s how much money I saved the business, it still helps.

Latesha Byrd, Career Coach and Talent Development Consultant

Career Coach and Talent Development Consultant Latesha Byrd.

Photo credit: Josh Cozy

Top Tips for Negotiating During the Interview Process

The most important thing is to let go of the limiting beliefs that tell you you don’t deserve more. Always ask for 10% more than what you really want to help cover a range. And feel comfortable negotiating more than just a salary if they refuse: think more PTOs, work-from-home opportunities, professional development training, equipment, mentorship, travel benefits, transportation allowance, relocation package, etc. . “It’s a two-way conversation, not a confrontation.

Angelina Darrisaw, CEO of C-Suite Coach

CEO of C-Suite Coach Angelina Darrisaw.

Photo credit: Katie Nunez

When to discuss salary during the interview process

When it comes to understanding the pay scale, you should at least start the conversation on that scale and see if there is alignment early in the process. But in terms of the actual negotiation, it should start once you’ve received the actual offer.

In most cases, there is a range, and that first offer tends to be at the lower end of the range. So my first tip will be to make sure you trade. And, I think this is especially critical for black women and all people of color because what tends to happen is due to the impact of systemic racism on us, because of the way we have been socialized. , we were often hesitant to ask for things. So there is a resocialization that has to happen for us to get comfort and confidence in pushing back and saying, “No, that’s not enough.”

How to Respond to a Lowball Offer on a Job You Really Want

Be courteous and thank them for what they have offered, but also be firm on what you want to accept. Often there is this fear that an offer will be withdrawn or that you may not be able to get the role if you push back, but understand that if a company has gotten to a place where they made an offer to you, then they probably want you. as much as you want this role.

While there might be limits, especially if it’s a small business that faces budget challenges, there are often areas where they can still accommodate you. Often, companies can partner with talent and development groups, or colleges and universities for executive training opportunities. Or they may have the option of being more flexible with your vacation or other benefits such as share buyback programs. So, there are a lot of things that can be in the conversation besides salary that are sometimes just as valuable.

* These interviews have been edited and condensed for length and clarity.

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Erica Gill

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