Dealing with negotiations can be challenging, especially for women. However, there are some useful tips that can make it easier, tips that can help women to be more assertive and confident during the negotiation process.
A couple of women practicing negotiation skills.

Dealing with negotiations can be challenging, especially for women. However, there are some useful tips that can make it easier, tips that can help women to be more assertive and confident during the negotiation process.


When I discovered that Pete, the new Team Leader at the call center I was working in, with 2 years less experience than I had, had walked into the role and was earning 20% more than me, I almost quit on the spot.

I have a word for how I felt: OUTRAGED. When I expressed my outrage to him, he shared it, but he asked me how hard I had negotiated for my base pay. That stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t. At 23 just graduated uni I was so grateful for the role that I didn’t negotiate the payrate at all. I really had no idea how to or that I could!

Negotiation is an essential skill in many areas of life, from business to personal relationships. We know from the research that woman find it harder to negotiate than men. This lack of confidence can have significant consequences for women in terms of their professional and personal success. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to this issue, as there are a variety of factors that can contribute to a woman finding it hard to negotiate. Here are some potential reasons:

1.     Socialization: Women are often socialized to be more nurturing, agreeable and accommodating, which can make it difficult to assert themselves and negotiate effectively. From a young age, girls may be encouraged to prioritize the needs of others above their own, leading to a tendency to avoid conflict or confrontation.

2.     Stereotypes: There are also cultural stereotypes that suggest that women are less competent or less skilled at negotiating than men. This can create a self-fulfilling prophecy, as women may internalize these beliefs and doubt their own abilities. Research has shown that women tend to underestimate their own skills and performance, while men are more likely to overestimate theirs. This can lead women to doubt themselves and their abilities in negotiations, even when they are well-prepared and knowledgeable about the subject matter.

3.     Fear of backlash: Women may also be hesitant to negotiate because they fear being seen as pushy or aggressive, which can lead to negative consequences such as backlash or reduced likeability.

4.     Lack of experience: Negotiating is a skill that takes practice and experience to develop, and women may not have had as many opportunities to negotiate as men, particularly in professional settings.

It’s worth noting that although more prevalent in women, these factors are not exclusive to women and can affect anyone’s ability to negotiate effectively. However, research suggests that women may face additional barriers to effective negotiation due to gender-based biases and stereotypes.

In what situations do we need to negotiate the most often?

1.     Salary and pay negotiations: When you are offered a job, you need to negotiate your salary and benefits package. Or when things change you are ready to ask for more.

2.     Business deals: When you are trying to strike a business deal with a client, supplier, or partner, negotiation skills can help you reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial.

3.     Contract negotiations: When you are signing a contract, you may need to negotiate the terms and conditions, such as payment terms, delivery schedules, and warranties.

4.     Dispute resolution: When there is a disagreement or conflict with someone, negotiation can help resolve the issue and find a way through.

How to negotiate a pay rise.

This can be intimidating, but with the right approach, it can be a positive and productive conversation. Here are some steps you can take to negotiate a pay rise:

1.     Do your research: Before asking for a pay rise, research the salary range for your role and experience level in your industry and location. This will give you an idea of what you can realistically expect and help you make a strong case for why you deserve a pay rise.

2.     Prepare your case: Think about the specific contributions you have made to the company and the value you have added. Make a list of your accomplishments, including any notable projects or achievements. Be specific about how your contributions have benefited the company and why you believe you deserve a pay rise.

3.     Schedule a meeting: Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your request for a pay rise. Be professional and respectful in your request, and make sure to give your manager ample notice.

4.     Make your case: During the meeting, present your case for a pay rise. Be confident and clear in your presentation and focus on the value you have added to the company. Be prepared to answer questions or address any concerns your manager may have.

5.     Be open to negotiation: Your manager may not be able to give you the exact pay rise you are asking for, but they may be able to offer other benefits or perks. Be open to negotiation and consider alternative options, such as additional leave or flexible hours.

6.     Follow up: After the meeting, make sure to follow up with your manager. If they agreed to a pay rise, make sure to get the agreement in writing. If they were not able to offer a pay rise, ask for feedback on how you can continue to grow and develop in your role.

Remember, negotiating a pay rise is not just about getting more money. It’s also recognition of your value and contributions to your organisation and ensuring that you are fairly compensated for your work.


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