Let me start by saying that the gender pay gap is real. There is a large amount of research and evidence that has backed this up in recent years. The gender pay gap often starts in the hiring stage when initial salary is decided and then increases as people get promoted. This is why, from the very beginning, it’s essential that you are skilled at the art of negotiation.

Everyone does deserve equal pay; however we live in a world where you have to ask for it to get it. That’s just the reality of the situation at present. You are going to be your own best advocate. If you’re the better member of the team, negotiate a better salary for yourself. Advocate harder for yourself.

From Time Magazine:

Men are negotiating four times more often than women—and they typically ask for 30% more,” Frank says. “Women typically approach their work as, ‘Keep your head down, work hard, do a good job and someone will reward you.’ But that’s generally not the case. You are more aware of what you’re doing than your boss, and it’s your personal responsibility to reinforce that and message that.

The catch, unfortunately, is that stereotypes and biases are still in place. So, you need to negotiate in a way that effective in playing this game as a woman. 

The ideal, says Hill, is to negotiate in a way that comes off as constructive rather than confrontational—so as to avoid disrupting gender norms. “It’s something women shouldn’t have to worry about, but unfortunately they do because it is there.

The way to bridge the gap to equal pay right now is effective negotiation. At this time, effective negotiation may mean different things for men and women. The most important aspect is remembering your attributes, your strengths and your value as an employee and bringing that to the table for strong negotiations. Don’t be afraid of asking for more. Don’t be afraid of the awkward silences during negotiations. Don’t question your value. If you’re questioning your own value, how do you think that’s coming across to those you’re appealing to?

Remember that this is business. Approaching the issue of salary objectively, with an evidence-based approach, will go a long way to taking personal feelings out of the mix. If the man next to you is walking into that office and successfully negotiating more based on his performance, and you know that your performance outweighs his, then you should walk in with even more solid tools for better negotiation. 

The fact of the matter is – if you want it, you’ve got to ask for it. Sitting around waiting for someone to notice your worth is not a good strategy. Strong negotiation is a far better tool in your arsenal. 

What are your thoughts on the gender pay gap? Is effective negotiation necessary? Comment below!