It's not all about the money. Or is it?

Gonna winnit, no limit. Strong women we are.
— Rhianna (Winning Women)

Just this week I was talking to one of my champions about some of the wins my clients were experiencing, namely exciting promotions, juicy new opportunities and ....  more money!  And while many of us demure and say "oh, it's not just about the money", maybe it should be.

With the gender salary gap bouncing around between 15% and 19% for the last few decades, the gender retirement superannuation gap is far more concerning at around 44.3% according to WGEA's August 2016 report.  Yep, despite working hard for most of our careers, we're retiring with an average of about $100K (approx) less due to a range of issues such as work deemed as "women's work" not attracting as high salaries, tax issues, career breaks and caring responsibilities all having a cumulative impact over time.

What's most concerning for me is that most women don't negotiate an initial offer. We feel uncomfortable advocating on our own behalf so even if we've been successful previously we may still shy away again in the future.

Cumulative effect of gender salary gap

Two clients (who shall remain unnamed) recently negotiated themselves increases of more than $100K p.a.. This is significant - not only for the significant impact on their future superannuation earnings, but because of the cumulative effect. The estimated LTV (live time value) of $100K increase over 10 years = $1MIL.  Yep, two clients will be better off in 10 years by at least $1MIL.

Obviously, there are a bunch of assumption in my calculation including that these women will keep earning at that new rate with no breaks or change in salary.  Wouldn't it be exciting if they went on to even bigger and better opportunities?

Is the cumulative effect important? You bet.

1. Many of my clients are the sole or major breadwinner in their family unit
2. When we don't negotiate for any more than the original offer we are hurting ourselves long term
3. Not negotiating is a credibility killer. As one of my clients recently told me after she successfully negotiated a second time on the initial offer - "it was as though they were expecting me to negotiate and if I hadn't that would have damaged my credibility"
4. And if you need to align yourself to a cause, do this because it's good for women everywhere. When we don't negotiate, we devalue work on behalf of all women.

So what did they do that some others don't? Key take aways for you:

  • Make a decision to negotiate
  • Do your homework (and there is an entire chapter in my new book dedicated to negotiation if you want to know more)
  • Start to calculate the value of your work and then calculate the value you add to a business bottom line in any given financial year
  • Take opportunities to fly your own flag within the business drawing attention to the results and benefits of your expertise
  • If looking for a new role, identify potential employers who do value the skills, expertise and long term sustainability benefits that women bring to an organisation
  • Don't automatically accept an initial offer - take time to think about it
  • Put mechanisms and systems in place to ensure success
  • Just do it!

Why? Because you're worth it.

Vive la révolution!

#ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #careerfutureproofing #visibility #womeninleadership


Drop me a line if you have a negotiation story to share. Do get in touch if you need help with this.  And save this email to inspire you to negotiate at your next opportunity.

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn nore. Helping clients shift from invisible to invincible in just 12 months