Data is power. Most people do not know what the people around them earn or what incentives might be available. Start with your friends in the industry and be willing to share your own information. Ask males and females. Men commonly have these exchanges. Keep your sources confidential. Refer to “data” you’ve collected. Check external sources like Glass Door and research what adjustments might be appropriate due to geography, seniority, or company focus. If you are in an existing position and are not successful in a request for a pay increase, keep it positive and let the decision makers know you are looking for new opportunities and growth as well as pay. Affirm your interest in staying with the firm and discuss a development plan. Avoid the defensive conversation about “fairness”.

If negotiating for an external position and you are given a range, ask for the top of the range. Often women perceive the middle as safe ground and men ask for the mountain top. Plan your script for why you are making the request. Give the data points you have collected and expand on how you can contribute.

We need to close the pay equity gap and it takes work, thought and follow through!