Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From the article archive: Steps to Earning Equal Compensation

Question: I will be transitioning from graduate school back into an industry where I have heard there is a pay gap between men and women. I renegotiated my salary and would like to know what additional actions I can take to make sure I am being equally compensated for my work.

Jo Miller answers:

I’m glad you are taking this seriously. You are taking all the right steps. If all women were to follow your lead, there would be less of a gender pay gap!

I recommend reading the book “Women Don’t Ask” by Linda Babcock and Sara Lascher. Following extensive research, they found that a large part of the gender pay gap could be due to women’s reluctance to negotiate.

Follow these steps when choosing a job to maximize your compensation and your career advancement:

1. Find a position in a division of the business that is growing, not shrinking or stagnant.

2. Ensure that you are hired into a division that is a revenue center, not a cost center. For example, seek out jobs in areas like product management or sales rather than in finance, operations, or human resources.

3. Look for a role that allows you to demonstrate the link between your work effort and business results, and make those results visible to senior-level leaders. For instance, if you work in marketing, measure return on investment (ROI) of your marketing programs and present results/metrics to senior leaders.

4. Ensure that you report to a manager who likes and mentors you, and whose manager does the same for them. That way, everyone’s careers advance faster.

5. Seek opportunities to work on high-profile projects that demonstrate your leadership capabilities and challenge you to grow.

Jo Miller is CEO of Women’s Leadership Coaching Inc. Through leadership workshops, coaching programs and webinars, Jo helps women create their roadmap into leadership positions in business.

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