Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Waving Pink Dollar Bills

"Line them up next to a real dollar, and the difference is stark: 77 cents for white women; 69 cents for black women. The final dollar — so small that it can fit in a coin purse, represents 57 cents, for Latina women. On a campus that is two-thirds women, many have heard these numbers before. Yet holding them up next to one another is sobering."
—If you see [wage disparity], say something. Also, let's talk about salaries and how they are negotiable. You go first. (Adjusts power accent bracelet.)

11 Comments / Post A Comment


I really relate to this... I was so delighted to get my current job (first long-term job out of college) that I didn't negotiate salary at all, even though I had a competing offer and definitely could have.


Great article! Will definitely be sharing on my FB for my lady friends.


I just asked for a raise last week! My PT job was offered to me upon graduation in May as a FT job, and I agreed but only on condition that my hourly pay be raised by at least 13% when my contract comes up for renewal in September. I'm a contractor for the government though, so it's going to be a while before I find out if that's going to happen or not. But I am still super proud of myself for actually taking the leap and asking.


I'm a government employee and I've often wondered about how that relates to negotiation. In all honestly I think I'm over payed for what I do, so I'm not so inclined to ask for more, but it's always seemed to me that it's not even really an option. We get regular increases for "merit" after x number of years, as well as cost of living. This is probably thanks to the unions.
Anyway, government. They have no money. Would this be an exception or is it true that everything is negotiable if you pursue it hard enough?
It's probably the latter, but I'd feel like a complete selfish asshole asking an already under-funded public office to pay me more to comment on The Hairpin.


yes! always negotiate salary, never apologize for it, & don't be afraid to push back a little bit if you're told something is impossible. seriously, no one's offer ever got pulled in response to some reasonable negotiation.

taco besos

I just got hired on full time for my first real job out of college, and I really wish I read this before accepting the offer immediately.


Something I thought was weird about this article: they repeatedly mention that the women are taught not to be the first to offer a number. I learned via Slate's negotiation podcasts (http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/negotiation/2011/10/negotiation_academy_slate_s_course_on_the_art_of_haggling_.html) that the person who throws out the first number sets an "anchor" that is psychologically difficult for the other person to get away from. So I'd think they should do their research and ask for a number in the high range of what's normal for their field/position.

Although, I used this tactic and asked for a huge raise a month ago and basically got a "maybe, we'll have to talk about this after the new year," so...science has failed me, at least for now.


@suzabellajones I read about that anchor number in.... Thinking Fast & Slow I think? A good book. I have been trying to think about how to use it in my own life.

OVERALL, I like this article. I like that it is not presenting it as as simple as "just ask for more! You ladies just need to speak up!". We are not wrong about being scared to do it because people will hate us.


@suzabellajones Apparently even making a joke like 'Hahaha, a million dollars please' raises the end average salary you're given as it technically sets a high anchor. Woah.


While everyone should negotiate their salary, it worries me that negotiation is being touted as the solution to the gender gap. Earlier this year, a study about gender bias within the sciences found that when presented with resumes identical in everything but gendered name, faculty members judged the male applicant more mentor-able than the (identical!) female applicant and would offer the male applicant a higher starting salary. If someone sees a feminine name and thinks of a lower salary, then even when I negotiate, I'm fighting an uphill battle.

The study also found that the gender bias is systemic and subconscious -- female faculty members were as likely as their male counterparts to view the 'male' applicant as a better hire/worth more. The gender gap is not about overt sexism, but it's also not just women's failure to negotiate.

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