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equal pay

Cathy Quinones quinones at orchid.UCSC.EDU
Fri Jan 27 19:04:46 EST 1995

In article <3gbled$1gp at newsbf02.news.aol.com> drmarts at aol.com (Drmarts) writes:
>I was once part of a panel discussing "Career Changes and the Glass
>Ceiling" at a local AWIS chapter meeting when this topic came up. The
>consensus seemed to be that one reason women in professions are paid less
>than similarly-qualified men is that they simply don't ask for enough
>during salary negotiations. In other words, one of the things that holds
>us back is that we don't value our own worth enough to ask for as much as
>we can get. I'm not trying to turn this into "blame the victim," I think
>the reasons we don't value ourselves and our abilities come from the
>sexist culture we've been raised in. But it is something to think about. I
>did, and when I last changed jobs I requested and got a 25% increase in

Right on!!!

>The solution - read a couple of good books on negotiation ("Getting to
>Yes" is a classic), do some research on salaries in your field, and then
>go for it!

I just saw several books at the bookstore (i.e., they are fairly
up-to-date) and indeed, there are sources of info on what the going
salaries are for individuals of given qualifications (one had salaries
listed for B.S., M.S. and Ph.D.'s, others didn't).  I think it is VERY
important to keep stressing that the employer is there to get a benefit
(i.e., find a good employee), and that the employer's bottom line isn't to
expand the employee's horizons or give them a fun, fulfilling job: with
that in mind, the employee can get into the right frame of mind, which is
to be assertive in describing one's qualifications, and being equally
strong in stating what one is WORTH (because of the going salaries and
one's qualifications).  

I was just raving about this book called "The Smart Woman's Guide to
Interviewing and Salary Negotiation" by J.A. King in a previous post.
The author strongly agrees with drmarts at aol's views: that women often sell
themselves short.  The good news is that, blatant discrimination aside, we
can do something about it, simply by acknowledging the problem exists, and
then, instead of dwelling on the fact, moving on to using strategies that
make one look and feel more poised in the interview (and later on, in the
job itself).  One key thing seems to be that job-seekers often fail to do
their homework in terms of researching the company that is interviewing
them, or by not planning how to react to possible interview questions, or
by not being prepared/assertive in the salary negotiation process.  The
author comments that it is not unusual to have interviewees just sit
through an interview without asking questions about the position being
offered, or being unable to state the salary they want (because they just
don't know how much they are WORTH), or taking the first offer the
employer makes, or being unable to strongly defend why they should be paid
more than at their current job (at which they know they are underpaid!)...
the list goes on and on and on.  

I can't even begin to tell how much info I have gleaned out books (both out
of the library and ones I purchased).  This info obviously doesn't
translate to actual interviewing experience, but it is much better than
going into an interview blindly, or going through one's professional life
wondering how the game is played.  I don't know if other universities
prepare their students better to deal with job searches (I can't say I have
gotten *any* tips or hints at the places I have been!), but that is no
excuse to avoid going out and doing some research on ones' own.  It seems
I have heard 20 times more advice on what to wear to the interview
than on what to say!  What's the use in spending hours finding the perfect
pair of professional-looking footware if one of those shoes is going to
finish in one's mouth ;)  
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