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Negotiating your salary? Not easy for most people

Wendi Richards of Thomas College will facilitate an online workshop guiding women through negotiating their salaries.

WATERVILLE, Maine — Most of us don’t relish the thought of having to sit down with a manager to ask for a pay raise. These conversations can be stressful and intimidating. Turns out, men and women are not great at negotiating their salaries.

The Waterville Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) is offering a free, online workshop which will offer up some salary negotiation skills. 207’s Peggy Keyser talked with Wendi Richards, Assistant Director of Professional and Career Development at Thomas College who will be leading the workshop.

A recent study done by the University of Southern California used artificial intelligence to adjust for gender and racial biases at negotiating. 

“What it determined is that there is no noticeable difference between women and men on how they negotiated. They were both kind of … terrible,” Richards said with a smile. “We kind of need to work across the board.”

Richards also talked about Equal Pay Day. 

“Equal Pay Day is the day that women on average make the same as their male counterparts have made in the last year. So, you’ve got to go further on into the year to make the equivalent of a man.” 

Richards said the AAUW has it at an average of April 2 each year.

In the workshop, Richards hopes to set the scene for what to expect from a salary negotiation, how to prepare, and how to research your value to your company. 

Richards also said that knowing how to present yourself and being prepared with what to say in the conversation will also help for a smooth negotiation. Richards has worked closely with students, particularly at Thomas College where she works, because often students have never been in a situation where they’ve had to negotiate a salary.

“Most people don’t negotiate.  But those who do have an average of, according to one study, $13,000 dollars difference,” she said. 

She also advocates practicing the conversation at home with a friend or partner.

Wendi Richards of Thomas College will be facilitating a "Salary Negotiation Workshop For Women" on Wednesday, March 30, 2022 at 4 p.m. on Zoom. To register in advance for the workshop, click here

Here are some additional links with information. 

To learn more about the American Association of University Women in Maine, click here

To learn more about the National AAUW, click here

To learn more about the pay equity gap, click here

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