Yes you read that right. Negotiation is ambiguous when you are a woman. Some women are an exception. They are very assertive, know what they want and refuse to settle for less. They are also very valuable to a company, have more than proven their worth and so are on solid ground when they negotiate. Most of us cannot say that.
In fact, I’m thinking of successful women I have heard about who are very high in companies they work for or who are entrepreneurs. I know of one who is a ridiculously successful entrepreneur. I know another woman who is working for a prestigious radio station and has a great job. It sounded enviable until about a month ago when she had to take a $30,000.00 pay-cut if she wanted to keep her job. So much for her negotiation power.
The business world will always be an old boys’ network and you will never be a part of it. Accept it. Here’s one example: When men negotiate they are seen as powerful; women are seen as too demanding. However not negotiating salary is akin to not telling your doctor your symptoms then expecting the medical treatment you need in order to survive. When you must negotiate it’s best to keep a couple of things in mind:
Don’t negotiate salary until you have a job offer in writing. Let’s say the job pays a salary and a performance bonus, but you don’t know about the bonus part. If you do not get a written offer specifying the pay elements before you start negotiating, then you might negotiate a higher base salary but lose a portion of your bonus. That’s because the bonus gives your hiring manager some “wiggle room.”
Figure out your own needs first. You might not get the salary you hoped for but maybe there are compensations, such as working at home or more vacation time or sick days, or some such thing.
Don’t use salary negotiation to lecture the recruiter about women’s rights. This already suggests you won’t be a good fit with the company. And believe it or not, men recruiters often don’t know they are sexist. Seriously Doesn’t that make you so irritated? And that’s another thing women don’t do well when negotiating; we bring emotions into our salary talks. Bad move. Remaining absolutely professional in body, mind and spirit is key if you’re going to be at your most effective.
Which is another blog entirely.