Women fight fears for their place in the sun

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY KEANE

WOMEN are worse than men at ask­ing for a higher salary and it could be cost­ing them thou­sands. Au­thor and so­cial com­men­ta­tor Jamila Rizvi said clos­ing the na­tion’s gen­der pay gap – which has sat be­tween 15 and 19 per cent for decades – re­quired women to fight their fears and be well- pre­pared to ne­go­ti­ate. “Women tend to be par­tic­u­larly anx­ious about ask­ing for more money,” she said. “It seems to be this fear that peo­ple think you are greedy or not a very nice per­son. “The data tells us men are much bet­ter at ask­ing for money for them­selves. Women are ex­cel­lent ne­go­tia­tors on be­half of their com­pany or some­one else, just not them­selves.” Ms Rizvi said re­search found men’s salaries ex­ceed women’s salaries by $ 4000 a year, and two- thirds of men asked for more money, com­pared with just 10 per cent of women. She said re­quests should be made based on skills rather than fi­nan­cial needs, prepa­ra­tion was vi­tal, and ne­go­ti­a­tion should not be com­bat­ive. “So of­ten peo­ple will ask on a whim. It shouldn’t be a last- minute de­ci­sion, you al­most want your man­ager ex­pect­ing you to ask. Have a re­ally strong case.”

In her new book Not Just Lucky, Ms Rizvi said women should ob­jec­tively as­sess their sit­u­a­tion and time their re­quest by think­ing about their boss’s other de­mands, the busi­ness’s cash flow, when bud­gets were set, when bosses were stressed, and their own re­cent per­for­mance.

“I’ve seen em­ploy­ees lit­er­ally get the shakes when ask­ing for a pay rise. I have also been the em­ployee with the shakes,” she said. “Threats to quit or walk away put the em­ployer in a bi­nary po­si­tion where they must ei­ther meet your de­mand or not. If not, you ei­ther have to walk away or look re­ally, re­ally, re­ally silly.”

An­drew Mor­ris, direc­tor of re­cruit­ment con­sul­tancy Robert Half Aus­tralia, said sim­i­lar strate­gies helped any­one dis­cussing wages with po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers, but there were ex­tra rules: Don’t get ahead of your­self, and don’t bluff.

“Ask prospec­tive em­ploy­ers what they think would be an ap­pro­pri­ate pay range for the po­si­tion so you can avoid giv­ing a fig­ure that is too high or low,” Mr Mor­ris said. “It’s never a good move to mis­lead a prospec­tive em­ployer about your cur­rent com­pen­sa­tion or other high­er­pay­ing job of­fers in an ef­fort to get more money.”

YOU’RE WORTH IT: Au­thor and so­cial com­men­ta­tor Jamila Rizvi says women must be well- pre­pared to ne­go­ti­ate. Pic­ture: NICKI CON­NOLLY

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.