A quick guide for women to develop the skills to become their own best advocate
Rachel, who works in a medium-sized finance consulting firm, was excited to share the news of her promotion from Marketing Manager to Director. When asked whether she was happy about the pay rise, she said she received a modest bump.
As she stepped into her new role, Rachel slowly came to realize that she was underpaid. And compared to her predecessor, the Marketing Director role grew significantly in scope and complexity.
Rachel was blindsided. She could have asked for a better salary package by leveraging on her future capability. But like most women, she was only too happy to accept the promotion without negotiating.
Rachel’s story is all too familiar according to the study by the Melbourne Business School on Women-focused Negotiation Training: A Gendered Solution to a Gendered Problem – “Women are reluctant to initiate negotiations in the workplace. When women do negotiate, they ask for too little, they are too willing to accept early offers, and they are too quick to accommodate. As a result, women are repeatedly disadvantaged in salary, developmental opportunities, and other resources that they need for successful careers.”
The study compiles the interview responses of 84 women from primarily large organizations with more than 500 employees. Their responses highlight their experiences in workplace negotiations – what were the negotiations about, who they negotiated with and the effect on their work relationships and self-esteem.
The interviews have uncovered the roadblocks that keep women from becoming their own best advocate. But the good news is – women can strategize to vanquish these roadblocks and negotiate the best outcome for themselves.
Below is a summary of negotiation challenges according to the study and the recommendations on how to overcome them.
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