The statistics are clear – there is a gender pay gap in Australia. The state you live in, the industry you work in and the employer you work, for will all have a huge impact on how your gender affects your pay. However there is one thing the statistics don’t really drill down into, and that is the number of women that are working in roles that are beneath their capability, simply to access family-friendly hours or to be closer to home to better manage caring commitments.
Public gender pay gap reporting, strategies to address inequity and commitment from organisations to remove barriers to women participating and advancing in the workplace are helping to keep the public’s eye on the issue and to drive change, but progress is slow. In the meantime, what can we be doing to ensure that we are being paid fairly for the work that we are doing?
Do your research
Find out which industries and companies are leading the way for gender equality. FlexCareers only partner with companies that are actively working to close gender pay gaps, improve policies and support for working parents, and offer flexible working arrangements. You can browse available jobs with FlexCareers partner organisations here: www.flexcareers.com.au
Know what you are worth
There are a number of excellent free salary surveys and other market reports available. The following tools and links are a good starting place:
Never accept a “starting salary – to be reviewed after X months”
Regardless of the reason behind the arrangement, you will always be starting from a position of weakness, and will have to negotiate up again in the near future. Do your negotiating up front, be confident in what you can bring to the table and ask for what you are worth.
If you need help to improve you negotiating skills, better understand and articulate your value proposition, or build you confidence then please reach out to one FlexCareers panel of experienced career and life coaches here. FlexCareers also offer FREE online coaching every Monday night at 8pm EST in the Talented Flexible Workforce group on Facebook. Jump on and ask for help.
Sell your total skill set
Do not underestimate the unique skills you bring to the table. Stress in your CV and interview that your value is a combination of experience, achievements and workplace skills. This is what an employer is buying and they don’t come cheap.
Make sure your CV captures your unique offering with a clear professional summary, and give clear examples of those skills and attributes during your interview.
Don’t be afraid to say no!
We shared an interview with Halle Berry recently and she captured this perfectly. If a role won’t pay you what is acceptable, don’t take it. There is power in saying no and you should not be afraid to use it. When considering any offer, whether that’s at work or in life, check in with you – does it make sense to you, and do you want to do it?
There will be another organisation out there who will recognise your value and be prepared to pay you fairly for it.
Decide on the salary range you are happy to accept before the interview
When asked the dreaded question about salary arises, mention your research and comparable roles in the market. A good response would be “given my research, an acceptable range would be from $x to $x”. Ensure your minimum is acceptable to you, and don’t be afraid to negotiate.
Don’t trade flexibility for dollars
We hear of this happening a lot. If you hear yourself thinking, ‘ok, the pay is not great but the hours are good,’ then there is something wrong, and the outcome won’t be good for either you or your employer.
Flexible working does not devalue your contribution to the workplace, and offering flexible working arrangements at a lower salary does not make an employer forward thinking and inclusive – quite the opposite! Flexible working should be available to all employees, in a way that works for the individual employee, the employer and the customers that they serve.
Your value should be measured on your output, not how many hours a day you are sat at your desk in the office. Remote working, flexible start and finish times, or a condensed work week are just some of the many options available to better balance work and life, and should be available in all workplaces – with no dollar offset.
If working part-time, your pay will be pro-rated but your full-time-equivalent salary needs to be in line with what the market is paying. Someone who feels underpaid and undervalued, is unlikely to feel motivated and happy in their role.
Finally, believe in yourself (hear from our CEO, Natalie Goldman on self belief here) and be confident to ask for remuneration that matches your skill set – your career depends on it.
Pam Dell is a founding member of the FlexCoach panel of career and executive coaches. She has been on a 30 year journey that encompassed a constant juggle between corporate life and raising 3 children. Her background covers HR, Business, IT, Mentoring, Career coaching, Outplacement consulting, Learning and Development. She coaches people every day to help them be better at what they do, land their dream role, crystalise their goals and achieve their potential. Her passion is seeing people gain confidence to do what they were meant to do (and more!)
You can connect with Pam through her FlexCoach profile here