How to Negotiate Salary as a Woman in Technology

Thank you, Dice, for sponsoring this post and for creating such an insightful Gender Pay Gap  In Tech report!

Negotiating your job offers is very important, especially as a woman. I believe that’s the best way to do something about the gender pay gap in tech – which, unfortunately, isn’t a myth. So I wanted to share some strategies on how to negotiate your salary as a woman in technology.

Why Gender Pay Gap isn’t a Myth

As illustrated by the Dice Gender Pay Gap in Tech Report, Gender Pay Gap is very real. I’ve created a separate post on it, sharing more insights and statistics on the issue, but for now, I want to share some highlights with you:

  • According to this research, female Software Engineers make on average $8,559 less than their male counterparts of the same education and experience level.
  • Female Data Scientists make on average $9,561 less than their male colleagues
  • Product Manager role has an average salary gap of $4,709 between men and women
  • And female UX/UI Engineers make on average $1,923 less than their equally qualified male colleagues

This is just the tip of the iceberg, learn more from my post and from the full Dice Gender Pay Gap in Tech Report.

As you can see, the Gender Pay Gap isn’t a myth, but a very sad reality. However, we will never achieve anything by being depressed by the numbers and facts – so let’s do something about it and strategize for your next salary negotiation process. I’ve also created a YouTube video on the topic in case if you prefer to hear me talk about the following tips in more details.

The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is as an art and practice makes it perfect. Having the right tools and strategies in place also helps, so here are some steps I’d recommend for you to look at:

1. Do your research. 

Understand what the company is looking for in a candidate and the problems it’s trying to solve. Do research around your market value and to this company. You should also be able to answer questions like: how much candidates like you should be making per year? What benefits do companies like this one offer?

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

2. Prepare and strategise

Preparation is a huge part of any negotiation process and shouldn’t be skipped – if you want an outcome that’s favourable to you, of course. Once you’ve done your research, write down the following 3 things:

  • Your value to this company – what will you be bringing to the table?
  • Your non-negotiable benefits and salary – what are you willing to be flexible on and what you have to have in a job offer.
  • Consequences of no agreement – the alternative to making a deal, for both you and the company. 

3. Listen and ask questions

Negotiations aren’t about winning or losing, they are about finding a mutually beneficial solution. Listen to what the other person has to say and ask questions about what the company is looking for, their goals and what success looks like for them – as well as what metrics they’re going to use to capture that. 

When the person answers your questions, use your active listening skills to really take it all in. You’re trying to be a sponge here, soaking all of the information you can use. Brownie points if you create a better personal connection with the person you’re talking to!

4. Communicate your market value

Make sure that the other person understands what value you would bring to the company and how much candidates like you are compensated – show your research! And of course, start your salary negotiations from a number that is more than what you want.

5. Find mutually beneficial solutions

There are multiple ways to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, as long as you’re ready to be flexible. You can agree to a lower salary, but higher stock contributions or pension matching – or agree to a remote work position, but fewer holiday days. 

Work with the other person and come up with multiple different solutions that work for you and the company.

Photo by Jessica Arends on Unsplash 

6. Be respectful and don’t take anything personally

Stay calm and positive throughout the whole process. Even if the other person isn’t behaving correctly or what they’re offering is completely off, don’t let that get to you. Be your best professional self!

7. Be ready to walk away

Sometimes your efforts of finding a win-win situation will be met with no enthusiasm, so in those cases, get ready to walk away. Know your value and don’t negotiate on your non-negotiables. You will be dodging a serious bullet by not signing up for a job at a company that doesn’t respect you or what you’re asking for! 

I want to reiterate though, the actual negotiation conversation is just the tip of this iceberg – and your success will largely depend on your research and preparation. To get started on your industry research, download the Dice Gender Pay Gap Report.

Were you surprised by the Gender Pay Gap in tech? It’s absolutely ridiculous that it still exists, however, we can do something about it! Let’s negotiate the Gender Pay Gap Away 😉

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