Addressing the pay gap

Women’s workshop assists in negotiating better pay

It may be time to address the elephant in the room, well the silent elephant that is only visible to people who address it, the pay gap. The Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs does just that with their latest workshop. Women’s salary and negotiation workshop, or demand equal pay. 

“It’s all great that I got exposure to the pythagorean theorem but it’s not pythagorean theorem season it’s tax season, and I don’t know how to do those,” presenter and assistant director of  Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and International Programs, Suzanne McDonald leads.

Women working full time in the U.S. are paid 83% of what men earn. At the current rate of change, pay equality will not be achieved until at least 2111. 

The pay gap is not binary meaning it is not restricted to simply men or women. Race, sexuality, religion, and more play a huge factor in the pay gap. According to a census conducted in 2020, Asian women make 87% of what the average white man makes, white women make 77%, African American women make 61%, and Latina women only make 53%. Women are paid less across all industries, in all levels, in all states.

“When we talk about the gender pay gap the push back is usually, ‘maybe women don’t have experience,’ we matched for that. ‘Maybe they just took more time off,’ matched that. ‘Maybe they just didn’t have any education,’ nope we matched for that. The problem is not that we are uneducated, women hold 923 billion or 2/3 of the nation’s student debt. How does the 83 cents add up over time? Women lose on average five hundred thousand to a one million dollars compared to a man in their careers,” McDonald asserts. 

There is a social stigma that women should be grateful for what they receive and that their gratefulness is erased when they advocate for their rights. There is also the struggle of debunking those stigmas and recognizing self worth. A lot of women question themselves, ‘am I even worth that much money, can I even ask?’ A plethora of women struggle with complimenting themselves, thus the notion to ask someone in power to be paid what they deserve can be extremely hard.

 In order to take the first step to negotiate a salary, you need to know the facts. It is almost certain that as a woman, employers will offer less money the first go around. It is important to know your value by evaluating your accomplishments.Things like earning a diploma, attending college during a pandemic, or even advocating for yourself are all notable accomplishments. 

The next step is to value your skills. Being able to follow directions and have an open line of  communication is essential. It is alright to ask your supervisor what you do whether it be unjamming the printer, creating a display or learning new technology. 

“Research published salaries, research job titles, and research responsibilities,” McDonalds informs. 

Social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook are useful resources for trying to determine what a set salary should be.There are also benefits, if the salary is lackluster, try looking at the benefits. A lot of times as a woman, people assume that if you have a family that means you will leave, to take care of the family. However, if a man has a family they assume he will stay, to provide for the family. Therefore, benefits also include telecommuting, childcare, lunch/meal plan, professional development programs. 

Additionally, set a walk away point, if both salary and benefits are not worth it walk away. This may be stressful after a recession however it will help when looking for careers, especially when searching for higher pay. 

“Negotiation comes after you have the offer, they already want you! Sometimes they will ask you before they have the offer, ‘what are your expectations for this position?’ Deflect, I’d like to learn more about the role before I set my salary expectations,” McDonalds offered. 

When negotiating for a salary, it is important not to be baited when they ask for past compensation or salaries from past careers. While past careers may be helpful for skill sets, it may not help with future salary requirements. 

This workshop provides real life examples and skills required for job hunting and salary negotiation. Aimed at women and other minorities to recognize their values and the skills that they hold. For more information visit or