Even women graduating with an MBA earn starting salaries that are, on average, about 7 percent less than those of their male counterparts. Why? One reason is that men are more likely to negotiate an offer. The takeaway: Maybe it’s time to ask your boss for an increase or to put on your negotiating hat for a job interview. Some tips from Margaret Neale, a professor of management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business:
1. Package it: you frame your request in terms of a single issue—a higher salary, for instance—it becomes an adversarial battle. Ask instead for more staff, more funding for a marketing program, a company car and a bigger paycheck. Now you’re negotiating for a package of resources, an approach that tends to be viewed more positively.
2. Know your number: You have the Internet at your disposal, plus the power of social media. There is no reason to walk into a negotiation without knowing what other people in your position are earning. “Lots of women have said to me, ‘An employer asked what it would take, and I didn’t have an answer,’ ” Neale says.
3. Stop with the “me, me, me”: Old job or new, focus on what you need in order to do your job more effectively so you can better solve the organization’s problems. How will your package help you help your employer? Start there.