Too many women do not dare to negotiate their hiring wages or hesitate to ask for an increase. In the metropolis of Detroit, a hundred employees experienced training sessions organized by the Detroit’s Business School. Very useful.

Ladies, you have to dare! While one in two men negotiate their wages when they are hired, only one in eight women do so. Once they are in office, they are also reluctant to ask for an increase. This explains in part why women earn 17% less than their male colleagues in equivalent time and occupations. By changing their behaviour, women could therefore partly reduce this gap. And it’s possible.

Detroit’s Business School, a large school in Detroit, has launched experimental workshops to give women all the keys to a successful wage negotiation. Already about a hundred of them have been selected to follow the first session, which will end on 11 October. The goal is to train 10,000 women free of charge by the end of 2018, and 15,000 by 2022.

A collective awareness

The workshops provide practical tools to define strengths and added value, to be effective in recruitment interviews and to know the market value. Then, it is a strategy to negotiate a salary or raise.

The testimonies also highlight a certain resignation on the part of these women, tired of asking without ever obtaining. Some also confine themselves to sexist stereotypes, and feel that they are less valuable than their male counterparts.

Conducting negotiations with a seasoned recruiter

The workshops allow them to get back on their feet, regain self-esteem and establish a negotiation strategy. The first piece of advice they get? Delay as long as possible the time to address the issue of compensation when recruiting.

There’s bound to come a time when the recruiter will ask “how much do you want?” No question of tac to tac, you have to turn the question around and say,”How much are you offering?” When it is no longer possible to circumvent the subject, one should not give a figure but a salary range. The workshops also prepare participants who are in the workplace and who wish to see their remuneration evolve by providing them with elements for their arguments and the parade to employers’ standard responses (no budget, we will talk about it again…).

Learning to value yourself

The first participants were enthusiastic about the training. “I’m not in the claim. We must move forward voluntarily and positively. But until now, I thought that the company was going to realize the quality of our work, that it was going to come and pick us up,” says Christina, 46 years old, who, after having worked in sales, now holds a position in marketing. “My posting is recent, I’m not going to ask for a raise right now. But when I think it’s a legitimate time, I’ll have the weapons to do it,”she says.

Another participant, Vakisha, also comes out boosted by these workshops. “I had a hard time realizing my potential, I don’t know how to value myself too much,”says the 30-year-old woman who graduated top of her class. She now knows her value in the labour market.” If my employer doesn’t do anything to keep me by reassessing my salary, I’m ready to go,”she says. It has taken a first step, increasing its visibility on social networks by positioning itself in active research.