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Salary Negotiation: How to Push for Equal Pay

— March 10, 2022

The way you communicate with your employer will also make a difference.

Pay equity is when two different jobs contribute equal value to their employer’s operations, and the employees in those positions receive equal pay. Unfortunately, even in this day and age, it’s often easier said than done. According to the data, on average, women in the U.S. take home $0.82 for every dollar men earn. 

As such, women are often obligated to fight for equity. If that’s something you’re preparing yourself for, you’re likely aware that it won’t be a walk in the park. When negotiating equal pay, you need to be smart, bold, and strategic. It’s also important to know your worth as an employee who deserves the right compensation for your contribution. Therefore, it’s crucial to do some research beforehand and know how much you should demand.

With that being said, here’s more detailed information on how you can push for pay equity at your workplace – because you probably deserve it.

Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do before negotiating is to learn how much other employees with the same responsibilities earn in your company. This will give you an idea about what you should ask for. Then, you should research the job market; go online to check your job title and geographic region on pages like You can also browse through job ads, Facebook groups, or forums that focus on your professional field and are frequented by people who don’t mind sharing their salary ranges. As a last resort, you may read about or consult civil defense litigators to know your rights and possibilities.

Ask Around

Once you’ve done your own research, it might also be worth initiating conversations with your former colleagues or friends with similar qualifications. However, instead of asking people directly how much they get paid, you can try to say that you’d like them to give you some advice on the accurate pay for your position based on the area you work in and the number of years of experience you have. In situations like these, it’s better to be careful with words.

Try to have as many conversations with different people as you can. Not only will it allow you to collect more valuable information, but you’ll also be able to get more and more comfortable with talking about your salary. It still seems to be a taboo in today’s work environment, though secrecy only contributes to discrimination. 

Be Smart and Strategic

Negotiating your salary can be an incredibly stressful experience. You need to keep in mind, though, that you’re the person who’s been chosen for the job from among the candidates. In other words, you’re the most qualified for this position! So, don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

Therefore, it’s only appropriate to negotiate based on the qualities and skills that caught the hiring manager’s attention. To stay strategic about the discussion, you should know when’s the right time to bring up the topic of your salary. If the employer brings it up first, respond professionally. If there’s no mention of your salary at the interview, you can wait until you get an offer and then ask for a meeting to discuss the terms of your employment. Try to come off as confident, not desperate or aggressive.

Be Bold

If you’ve done your research and are confident that the company needs you, then don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. Even if you’re working your dream job, don’t be afraid to reach for more, especially if you feel like you deserve it due to your excellent work ethic and the worth you bring to the company.

Confident woman in meeting; image by Jason Goodman, via
Confident woman in meeting; image by Jason Goodman, via

The way you communicate with your employer will also make a difference. If you’re assertive enough, it will show that you’re worth the money and that you know exactly what you want. As long as you keep your confidence high and your words professional, there’s no reason to be afraid of negotiation.

Have a Backup Plan 

In case your current or potential employer doesn’t respond well to your demands, it might be worth having a plan B. If you’re made aware that there’s really no room to negotiate the pay, you can try to start a conversation about other benefits. This could include paid time off or the possibility of working remotely. As such, it might be helpful to research what the market offers in this regard as well. Also, even if you’re not ready to jump ship right away, it’s never a bad idea to have a list of companies that are likely to pay you well.


Negotiating your salary can be a real challenge. However, there are situations in professional life where you just have to stand up for yourself and ask for what you want and deserve. This should never be done without proper preparation, though. 

For this reason, it’s imperative to prepare yourself for the negotiations. Make sure to do research on your job title, field, and industry. You can go online or try to talk to people who can provide you with adequate information.

During the negotiations, you’ll need to be confident but respectful. Don’t be afraid to ask for equal pay, but have something to rely on. On top of that, consider having a backup plan in place so you can feel comfortable no matter the outcome of the conversation. Good luck!

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