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Monday, May 16, 2022

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Workshop aims to teach women to negotiate pay


The Women’s and Gender Resource Center, in association with the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, is preparing to present its biannual “Start Smart” workshop Dec. 11, at Agnes Arnold Hall. This event will serve to educate college women how to negotiate pay for their first salaries upon graduation.

Director of the WGSS program Elizabeth Gregory said that employers tend to under-invest in female employees because they assume all women will have children. In return, women will be less reliable workers because of employers’ assumptions that women still hold the role of primary caretakers.

“Women are still paid less than men for the same job,” Gregory said. “There’s been a lot of effort to figure out why that is still the case.”

Beverley McPhail is the former director of the Women’s and Gender Resource Center and an adjunct faculty member in the Graduate College of Social Work. She said one way to make the workplace fair for women is to educate them on how to better negotiate their salaries.

“There are some great educational programs for young women just entering the workforce to educate them on the pay gap and how to negotiate for salaries,” McPhail said.

Program Coordinator of the Women’s and Gender Resource Center Malkia Hutchinson said part of the workshop will explain the importance of equal pay.

“The first half is tackling what the pay gap is, how it happens and why it’s so important to discuss it and push back against it,” Hutchinson said. 

The second half focuses on how to negotiate a fair pay for the types of jobs participants are looking for and positions that correspond to their resumes. Based on these factors, trained faculty members help students figure out what salary they should be aiming toward before accepting a job offer.

Hutchinson said the workshop puts key components into play and teaches students how to aim for the highest end of that starting salary range in addition to offering up negotiation skills.

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