Even though women’s rights have improved since a few generations back, the gender pay gap is still very real.
For a variety of reasons, on average, women earn far less than men – $298.10 per week less – and the national gender pay gap is currently 18.8%1.
Whilst closing the gender pay gap is a complex issue requiring a multi-faceted approach from a wide range of stakeholders, including employers, there are some positive actions you can take to help ensure you are getting paid what you should be.
Here, Dr Gemma Munro, career coach and CEO of Inkling Women – a training and development organisation for female leaders in Australia – offers some advice.
CLOSING THE SUPER GENDER GAP
It’s not just pay rates that can sometimes see women get a worse deal than men – there’s also a big difference in super balances between the sexes. Read our tips for women to reduce the super gender gap here.
1 NEGOTIATE YOUR PAY BEFORE YOU START
Before you even start a new role, begin on the right foot by working out an employment deal that you’re happy with. Negotiating your wage and other employment conditions shows your boss you are confident and know what you’re doing. It also means you’ll be employed on terms you’re happy with, leading to a better, more successful employment.
‘Interestingly, research shows that many men liken negotiation to going to a football game, whereas women liken negotiation to going to the dentist,’ says Dr Munro. She says her biggest tip is ‘to encourage women to realise that negotiation is part of the job – it is expected of them – and, generally speaking, they will not be seen in a negative light for negotiating’.
2 DO YOUR RESEARCH
In order to negotiate well, you need to be confident – and part of this confidence will come from having researched the job, what’s expected of you and what you should be getting paid. To back up your pay-rise request, source evidence from places like the Fair Work Ombudsman, PayScale or the ‘Hays Salary Guide’.
According to Dr Munro, this is vital. ‘Go into any interview or negotiation setting knowing what you think you are worth, and have at least three clear pieces of evidence up your sleeve to back up this assertion,’ she says.
‘If you’re serious about a role, you’ll do your research beforehand,’ notes Dr Munro. ‘It doesn’t mean you need word-perfect answers – in fact, I think this can make candidates come across as a little stiff and overly formal. But you do need to understand the company, what it does and what it stands for.’
3 ASK FOR A PAY RISE
Once you’ve been employed for a while, have been working well and hitting targets, it may be time to ask for a pay rise. The same goes if you’re in a job and think you may be getting paid less than you should be.
‘Don’t apologise for asking for fair pay or a raise,’ advises Dr Munro. ‘Be polite, get straight to the point, then take time to pause and wait for an answer.’
4 THINK ABOUT A NEW DIRECTION
One of the reasons that men, on average, get paid more than women is because they often work in higher-paying industries.
While it’s important to work in a job that satisfies you, it may be worth thinking outside the box and considering roles where your earning capacity is higher.
That said, Dr Munro doesn’t advise women choose a role solely based on wages. ‘I recommend women aim for industries that feel juicy and exciting to them,’ she says. ‘I recommend seeking roles that draw on your natural strengths in service of something meaningful to you. I don’t see the point of spending significant hours a week doing anything but this!’
As published in Smart Start Magazine, 6 August 2015. Written by Emma Wheaton.
To read original article, click here.