Together we can

Salary negotiation to eliminate gender pay gap

Story by Jessie Tremmel, Op/Ed Editor

The gender pay gap is alive and well.

According to a report by the World Economic Forum, there is no country where a woman earns as much as a man for doing the same job.

The gender pay gap is the difference between men’s and women’s median earnings.

This is terrifying.

I have worked my tail off while in school working multiple jobs, volunteering consistently and overloading my schedule. Yet, I know I will not make as much as a male graduating with the same qualifications. How is this true? Don’t we value our female workforce as much as we value the male workforce?

The answer is no, but women can work to change this inequality. The American Association of University Women has been the leading force for the elimination of the gender pay gap. The AAUW suggests salary negotiation training for college women.

“Knowing what your skills are worth, making clear what you bring to the table, emphasizing common goals, and maintaining a positive attitude are some negotiation tactics that have been shown to be effective for women,” according to a report from the AAUW.

While some organizations claim the gender pay gap is the fault of women for choosing lower paying jobs, this just simply isn’t true. Even in occupations that are female-dominated, men earn more.

In the United States, the pay gap has barely budged in the last decade with women receiving 78 percent of what men are paid. In Wisconsin, median earnings in 2013 for men were $46,801 compared to women’s median earnings of $36,884, according to the American Association of University Women. Wisconsin women make 79 percent of what men make.

UW-Eau Claire Career Services offers $tart $mart, a workshop AAUW designed to combat the wage gap by preparing college women to enter the job market with the ability to negotiate salaries and benefits. The next workshop is 5-8 p.m. on Dec. 3. Workshops will also be held March 4 and April 14. Pre-registration is required; send name, year and major to [email protected]