Recent articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes and other news outlets have noted a push by men, from the top executive ranks to male business students at the nation’s leading business schools, for gender equality in the workplace. A group of males at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania’s business school, last year started a campus club called The 22s, named after the percentage gap between men’s and women’s pay, to call attention to the issue.
And well they should. Gender equality is a topic that has come up time and again as part of our annual Women in Events special report on female concerns within our industry. And while this industry has definitely made strides in this regard, the matter did come up among the women who participated in our roundtable discussion, especially when it comes to salary negotiation. Following are a few excerpts of their thoughts.
1. The Need to Negotiate
“Men will always negotiate, so women should always negotiate, too,” says one event marketer for a major U.S. auto brand. “If you don’t negotiate you are cutting yourself short. You have to be fair and find the market rate of whatever job it is that you are applying for, but then you have to prove out your experience and what is valuable to the employer as opposed to why you need more income.”
2. When to Negotiate
“Equally as important as knowing how to do it is knowing when to do it,” says an event specialist at a high-tech brand who gets together with a group of women to discuss salary issues in the marketplace. “Every time you switch jobs, that’s your greatest point of leverage because you can say, ‘This is my expectation.’ And you can do that more effectively the more data that you have.”
3. Speak Up for Yourself
One woman, who handles experiential for a soft drink brand, adds: “I admire when women within my organization pat themselves on the back. Women that I have worked for, who are mentors to me, have demonstrated how you can pat yourself on the back, you can have a seat at the board table, but still be gracious to everybody, and pay it forward, because they had mentors as well.”