Gender inequality has long been one of the most prevalent issues in the work place. Everyone wants to be the top dog and it’s a problem that has caused considerable difficulty for managers since the prehistoric age… well maybe not that long but you get the idea.
This level of competition is a force that can provoke huge amounts of unrest for staff morale. For example, if Pam and Dave are doing the same job but Dave’s raking it in, pulling up to work in a jag, while Pam struggles to insure her KA, there’s going to be some serious resentment issues and those issues can directly impact company productivity. The real question is, in this day and age why are women still deemed as being less worthy than men in the professional domain?
One of the major factors affecting the attitude towards female high-flyers, is that any successful woman is deemed to have got there by being aggressive or ruthless. Not everyone should have to express their inner Wilhelmina Slater to obtain the career of their dreams, nor should they remain quiet to avoid the negative connotations associated with an assertive character. The key is finding a healthy balance.
Ms Slater asserting her authority.
Babcock and Lashever, in their book “Women Don’t Ask!” state that it isn’t actually a case of women being poor negotiators in comparison to men; it’s that they fail to negotiate at all. Below are some simple steps to standing your ground without treading on your colleagues egos…
1) Know Your Value
Be well prepared, research into similar roles and companies to find out the sort of salary level you can expect. Know your BATNA!
2) Be Positive
If you approach the negotiation with a pessimistic attitude then you will most likely end up with less than you deserve. Confidence is key. If you have followed point 3 then be confident that your negotiation will prove successful.
3) Take a Clever Approach
This is a better way for women to negotiate and avoid negative connotations of aggressive demands. Show how what you are offering will benefit everyone not just yourself.
4) You Don’t Need A Masculine Alter Ego
Unfortunately there is a double standard that prevents women from using the same tactics as men when it comes to getting results in a negotiation. The important thing to remember is that being a Wilhelmina will only get you so far without everyone starting to strongly dislike you! Take a friendlier approach but stick to your guns.
5) Practice Makes Perfect
Role play the negotiation environment before hand so you are ready for any unexpected directions and have prepared appropriate responses. The greatest fear is the fear of the unknown so familiarising yourself with the situation will help your confidence for the real thing.
At the end of the day, if you don’t ask you don’t get! If you are confident in the knowledge you possess the skill level and experience necessary to warrant a pay increase, then stand your ground. Always assume that your salary is negotiable and the higher your expectations and goals, the higher you will progress.
What is your experience with work place negotiation? Let me know in the comments section below. Your story may be helpful for other budding negotiators…