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Do you negotiate? Most women don't, but one group is trying to change that

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LGP
Posted at 11:37 AM, Mar 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-25 13:37:13-04

Depending on who you ask and what report you look at, women make between 79 cents and 95 cents for every dollar earned by men.

One thing is clear: men in the workforce make more money on average than women, even when they do similar or the same jobs.

Those numbers get Claire Wasserman pretty worked up.

“I was very disturbed and angry about the wage gap. I had read that Hispanic women make 55 cents to the dollar. I read that despite being the majority of college graduates, that women are only making past middle management, less than 22% of us,” said Wasserman.

Frustrated that less money represented a lack of power for women, she decided to start talking about money with other women.

“I knew it would be a big conversation. I didn’t realize that there would be a real hunger for education, especially around salary negotiation,” said Wasserman.

In a recent study from Randstad, nearly 60% of women say they’ve never negotiated their salary.

These types of figures, plus conversations with other women, inspired Wasserman to create Ladies Get Paid.

“We are a book, an organization and a global community for women. We talk about how women can advance professionally, financially,” Wasserman said.

Wasserman says that community consists of more than 100,000 women worldwide.

Many of those women go on to negotiate a better salary, get a better job or simply improve their situation.

LaToya Burris is one of them.

“My career was not moving as far as, the salary wasn’t going, it didn’t match the work,” said Burris.

But Burris wasn’t sure where to go. She says she suffered from imposter syndrome and doubted her own talents.

She wasn’t sure what other graphic designers were making.

Not knowing where to go for help, she went to a networking event and met Wasserman.

“She basically was schooling all the ladies on how to negotiate and to basically get paid your worth,” said Burris.

The two had a conversation that really impacted Burris.

“The information that Wasserman has, has definitely changed my life. I’m making the most money. I actually had a 21% increase in my salary,” said Burris.

Negotiating pay isn't just about having a positive attitude.

Wasserman says there are things you need to do and say in a negotiation.

“I think contextualizing the conversation with your enthusiasm to work there. Say, listen, I know you’re a company that pays people fairly, I know you’re a company that values gender parity. And then you’re going to stand your ground. You’re going to say this is the number I’m looking for because it’s based on the market research. And if they say no, then it’s I’m sure we can find something that works for both of us, let’s have a larger conversation,” said Wasserman.

For Wasserman, it’s all about creating a more equal space for women to exist in.

“It’s just about parity. We should all want to have equal opportunities for everybody. It’s shown that when women are paid equally to men, it increases the GDP. More money in the economy, we can support our families better. So, this isn’t about women versus men, or women better than men, it’s just finding diversity in all of the ways that we can," said Wasserman.