Start Smart to teach women to negotiate salaries in workforce

By on April 9, 2013

A young woman entering the workforce today can expect fewer job offers and fewer promotions and make less money than her male peers graduating alongside her.

While women have made great strides, they still earn 77 cents to the man’s dollar for equal work. The discrepancy grows larger as race is taken into account: for African American women, it is 64 cents and for Hispanic women, it is 56 cents.

Throughout a woman’s career, the gender pay gap amounts to a difference of more than $1 million.

Although some legislators and special interest groups are working to address this issue, learning how one can negotiate their salary with a prospective employer can be just as effective.

The Women’s Studies Program and the Office of Multicultural and Global Education is bringing the national “$tart $mart” program to Quinnipiac’s campus this Saturday to help women learn to do just that.

The “$tart $mart” Salary Negotiation Workshop is a program designed specifically for female college and graduate students. The workshop teaches young women how to determine what employers are paying for the job she wants when she graduates and how to negotiate to be paid what she is worth doing that job.

The workshop was developed by The WAGE Project, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the goal of ending discrimination against women in the American workplace.

“This is an ongoing problem and it’s something that all women students may potentially be affected by, so I wanted to provide this service to the greater QU community,” said Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies Jennifer Sacco, who will help to lead the workshop.

Sacco said she hopes the students participating in the workshop will feel encouraged to ask for the salary they deserve, and will acquire “the competence and skills to make a rational argument about why they need more money” as a result of taking part in the “$tart $mart” program.

Senior Erin Webster has signed up for the workshop on Saturday. She looks forward to learning “some helpful tactics” when approaching future employers to negotiate a salary.

“Women tend to be timid during these negotiations, and I hope to learn about [how] to counteract this in a business setting,” she said.

The “$tart $mart” workshop could not have come to Quinnipiac on a more appropriate weekend. Yesterday, April 9, was Equal Pay Day. The date symbolizes how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012. Female leaders and women’s issues groups across the country hosted discussion panels and events revolving around the theme of the gender wage gap and why it persists in American society.

Sacco believes pay inequity is not commonly discussed on college campuses because the wage gap grows over time and college students tend to have more limited work experience at this point in their lifespan, so concerns about income inequality do not yet pertain to them.

The $tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshop will take place in Mancheski from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and spaces are still available. Participants must be in attendance for the whole workshop.  If you would like to participate in the workshop, the sign up sheet is on the desk of Kathleen Martin on the third floor of CAS 3.

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