Don’t lowball yourself. Give a number.

An oldie but a goodie from the treasure trove of anonymous insight, Reddit.

I work for a large multinational tech company, I regularly hire woman for 65% to 75% of what males make. I am sick of it, here is why it happens, and how you can avoid it.

The reason they don’t keep up, from where I sit, is simple. Often, a woman will enter the salary negotiation phase and I’ll tell them a number will be sent to them in a couple days. Usually we start around $45k for an entry level position. 50% to 60% of the women I interview simply take this offer. It’s insane, I already know I can get authorization for more if you simply refuse. Inversely, almost 90% of the men I interview immediately ask for more upon getting the offer.

The next major mistake happens with how they ask for more. In general, the women I have negotiated with will say 45k is not enough and they need more, but not give a number. I will then usually give a nominal bump to 48k or 50k. Company policy wont let me bump more than 5k over the initial offer unless they specifically request more. On the other hand, men more frequently will come back with a number along the lines of 65k to 75k, and I will be forced to negotiate down from there. After this phase, almost all women will take the offer or move on to somewhere else, not knowing they could have gotten more if they asked.

TL;DR

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for more, it’s not insulting or in any way going to affect your ability to be hired (we can always say no)
  • When you ask for more, give a number! If you let me pick, I will continue to lowball it.
  • Ask for raises, confident people get them more often than high performers in a heavy bureaucracy.

Lessons from Strategic Conversations: Or what being a latchkey kid taught me about living a life of no regrets

kids09

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Negotiating Sooner Than Later at Athena Leadership Center

On February 25th, I had the pleasure of reprising Negotiating Sooner Than Later workshop at Athena Leadership Center at Barnard College. On the heels of last October’s hour-long workshop, February’s workshop was extended and improved, with mock negotiation sessions that addressed the here, now, and later of negotiation for college students. I addressed negotiation as […]

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