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          Our team contributors give their best advice on answering common interview questions, perfecting job applications, negotiating salary and more.With Equal Pay Day happening recently, let's take a look at some of the latest outcomes in the gender pay gap. This 2018 research reveals why it's so important for women to take a strategic approach to negotiating their salary.

 Disappointing Findings

           A new report from employment site-Hired, Inc. called The State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace stated that, unfortunately the pay gap is still aliveand active in the United States. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of the time (63 percent), men are being offered higher salaries than women for performing the same role in the same company. In some organizations, women received pay offers that were dramatically lower than their male same level colleagues. This means that it is up to 45 percent less. These figures essentially match the numbers that Hired announced in last year's survey, showing little-to-no progress in closing the wage gap.

          While the Hired study has illuminated mainly on positions in the technology industry, they did some comparative research in order to examine the situation in different sectors. They found that inequities between men's and women's pay persist across diverse industries, including finance and health care. Importantly, the largest pay gap appeared in education technology.

working woman

What's else more?

            Race is also a major impact on pay disparities, with black and Hispanic women earning 10 % less in each dollar earned by white men. Additionally, Hired found that as women age, the wage gap expands.

           PayScale also released a new study on The State of the Gender Pay Gap 2018. The findings were fierce here as well. According to PayScale, today women earn 22.1 % less in every dollar that men earn. For example, in 2018 women's median salary is still around 22 percent lower than men's. Another important point that PayScale's study shown is that by the middle of their career, men become much more likely (possibly 70 percent) to have moved up to an executive role compared with women. This situation worsens over time, with nearly 59 percent of women still working in individual contributor positions by their late career, compared with just 43 percent of men. This discrepancy is often referred to as the “Opportunity Gap of Gender."

Taking Action

            What can be done to close the gender pay gap as well as the opportunity gap?

        While 42 percent of the survey respondents to the Hired believe that the effort must be collaborative among government, companies, and employees. The research points out something that women specifically can do. "According to the data, in 66 percent of the time, women are asking for less money, which means 6 percent less on average than men in the same role at the same company," said Kelli Dragovich, Senior Vice President at Hired. "We want women to feel empowered to ask for their market worth and we believe salary transparency will get us there." With this in mind, Dragovich offers the following negotiation recommendations for women:

  • Aim high : - Dragovich suggests that women not only rely on existing data, like Hired's State of Salaries Report, to determine what other workers in their market with the same experience and skill set are earning, but also that women avoid starting out salary negotiations too low. "After you look at the data, ask for the high side of your expected salary range," explained Dragovich. "Many employers will meet you halfway, so if you start on the low side you may end up disappointed."
  • Never use your current salary as a starting point :- Some other advice that Dragovich offers is to avoid beginning pay negotiations based on how much you're making now. "Using past earnings to inform salary decisions only perpetuates the wage gap," said Dragovich. "This is one of the most common mistakes that I see candidates make." Helping with this mission is the fact that a federal court ruled this month that employers now can't legally pay women less than they pay men simply because women made less at a prior job”.
  • Ask about the compensation philosophy:- Don't just face down your cards if you aren't offered pay that you think is fair. Dragovich advised to ask questions to get to the bottom of what's behind a suggested pay range: "If you're unhappy with what a company is offering, ask how the company arrived at the proposed salary and the benchmarks that are being considered for your level and skill sets."

          Legislative action and corporate initiatives are both vital keys to overcome the gender pay gap. However, rather than waiting for slow-moving change to catch up with the growing unfairness outcomes in workplace, women can make a difference in their "personal pay gap" by implementing savvy negotiating strategies – while at the same time moving everyone closer to true wage equity.

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