March is a pretty phenomenal month for women. Around the International Women's Day, we get to celebrate the achievements of women as well as renew the focus to face our unique challenges head on.
If there is anything that the infamous 2014 Sony leaks teach us, it is that regardless of the industry, there will always be inequality in how women and men are treated.
Research shows that the fundamental problem with starting off at a disadvantaged position is that every successive pay package will be based on the former which racks up quickly in organic growth.
How then, as a woman, do you negotiate so that you're not consistently behind on the wage scale?
There are situations in which we take up certain positions to get a foot in the door of an organisation or in business. In this case, it may make sense to accept less than what the market dictates.
However, be very clear that you are taking a hit on the bottom line because you want to prove your worth but will most likely renegotiate the terms as soon as the assignment is over.
2. Give and take
When confronted with a lower price than you know you're worth, find a compromise by proposing to give more value or something else for free but at the same time being firm on your value.
Ensure that these freebies are low in cost or effort for you but will provide value to the client.
3. Be prepared
Negotiation is a difficult process when you do not have the information and data you need to reinforce your position. As women, we're naturally relationship builders and this makes us more hesitant to pursue a firm position.
Use terms such as 'we' to create a unified position rather than you and I. Be prepared both in terms of the industry or market benchmarks as well as the ins and outs of the firm you're negotiating with. This will reinforce your value and fastidiousness.
4. Body language
Silence is a great tool when used the right way. When you make the big ask, for example state your price, do not dilute this by rambling afterwards.
As uncomfortable as it may be, maintain silence for five seconds. Maintain eye contact to show confidence and engagement as well as soften contentious points in the discussion.