For advice on how women should approach salary discussions, I interviewed eight career coaches, including five trusted sources in New York and three coaches in Silicon Valley, where there is a paucity of women in tech jobs. In Apple’s most recent diversity report, the company revealed that despite efforts to hire more women, only 31% of the workforce is female. The good news, says coach Lisa Stotlar, 51, who is based in Palo Alto and has been coaching for more than 20 years, is that the spotlight on gender disparity in tech can work to women’s advantage in salary negotiations.
But no one should assume that raises will come to them. Says longtime Columbia Business School coach Ellis Chase, 68, author of In Search of the Fun-Forever Job: Career Strategies That Work, “One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to assume that being productive, smart and working like a dog is going to get you recognition and compensation.”
So what should women do? I’ve boiled down the wisdom of the eight coaches to 12 directives.
8. Keep emotions out of it. Even if you feel like you’ve been treated unfairly and you’re angry that a male colleague with your job title and experience is making $20,000 more than you, keep your feelings in check. Otherwise you’ll put your supervisor on the defensive. “Nobody wants to hear, ‘it’s only fair,’ or ‘I need,’” says Chase. When you bring up a salary number, present it straight, without feeling. This is what you know about the rate for your level of responsibility. Don’t compare yourself to John in the next office.