Negotiation is an art. As a woman, you need to adopt different negotiating strategies that can help you chase a higher salary.

Negotiation strategies

Last year Kangana Ranaut stirred up a controversy when she called out the gender pay gap prevalent in Bollywood. She rightly stated that the yardstick to determine pay must depend on the work one puts in and not one’s gender. The Indian corporate setup is no different, and the disparity is so deeply ingrained that women have accepted it as the norm. Pick any gender-pay gap report and you will notice that women are paid lower than their male counterparts. 

As per Monster Salary Index 2018, women in India earn 20% less than men. This pay gap only increases with experience. It must be galling to realise you are not paid at par with your male colleagues, though you work the same hours and are as talented as they are – if not more. To bring about a change, you need to speak up and demand what is rightfully yours. It is not only appropriate in a corporate environment but also important for your own growth. 

Here are some strategies that can help you at the negotiation round next time:

1. Wait for the right time – During the interview, it is wiser to wait for the prospective employer to make an offer. Any mention of salary from your side must begin only after that. This will present you as a reasonable person and will give you an edge. If the recruiter asks your expectations before the interview, say you are open-minded and that you would like to know more about the role before you decide. 

2. Evaluate the role – Always ask for the job description before appearing for the interview. It will give you more clarity about the role. You will be able to assess if your skills rightly match the job requirement. Once you know more about the role, you can enquire about future growth opportunities. You can also ask about the annual raise, stock options, promotion, and other benefits. 

3. Be open to negotiation – Women are wired to be more accommodating. You may not feel comfortable demanding more money. However, it is totally acceptable and there’s no harm in asking for what you feel is due. It is better to negotiate at this point instead of wondering later if you settled for less. Preparing a plan in your mind will give you more confidence about the process. 

4. Do your research – Do thorough market research before you state your figure. Collect market data for similar skill-sets and find out what people in your job role in the same industry are being paid. Once you have this data, you will be able to explain better why you are asking for a certain amount as salary. Knowing your worth will also leave a better impression on the organisation. 

5. Speak with HR – If you received an offer, obviously the company is keen on hiring you. You must bring HR on to your side. Tell them that you are excited about the offered role and thrilled to join the team. The hiring manager has, in all probability, interviewed multiple candidates and chosen you. However, if the offer doesn’t match your expectation, politely ask if the matter can be looked into. 

6. Be ready to concede – Be open-minded and do not restrict yourself to a fixed amount. Try to understand if any alternatives can be worked out, and concede if it is reasonable enough. If it doesn’t work out, politely decline the offer. End on a positive note, saying you would love to hear from them if something better turns up in future.

At no point do you have to feel apologetic about asking for a bigger salary. Reiterate that you are keen to work with the organisation and are excited about the role. Your demands should be in line with your responsibilities and skills. However, assess the situation and understand how much the organisation is willing to stretch to accommodate you. When you focus on their priorities, you are more likely to receive a productive outcome. All the best!

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