Early in my tech career, I remember feeling shocked when I learned how much my male coworker earned. He was several years my junior and yet was making exactly what I was making! On top of that, he was hired with a salary of 50% more than what mine was when I was at his level. Was this my fault? Had I lowballed myself when I got the position?
Study after study has confirmed that women in tech in the United States are generally paid less than their male counterparts. The pay gap is so common that many women often seem to expect to be paid less. It’s crazy to think that this is still the case even in 2022. We need to change that.
I want to teach you how to make sure you’re getting what you deserve for the work you’re putting in. In order to learn how to negotiate your worth, first, you need to understand the value that you bring to the table.
Understand & Build Your Value
So many women underestimate their value. One of the main reasons I founded DevelopHer is because I want to help empower women in tech to rise to new levels in their careers and lives. I want to help you become unstoppable and get the salary you deserve. Once you understand your value and feel confident in what you offer, you’ll have no problem negotiating your worth.
Invest in Learning New Skills
One of the best things you can do to build your value is to learn new and valuable skills that are in high demand. Don’t just learn new skills for the sake of learning new skills – be strategic with what you choose! When you learn skills that are the most in-demand and valuable, you jump to the front of the line. You put yourself in one of the most valuable positions because you now offer something that execs in the industry are actively seeking!
Invest in learning skills that are both valuable within your company and in the marketplace. Early in my career, I invested in learning iOS. That investment paid off tenfold – the more I learned and demonstrated what I could do, the more valuable I became at work and in my career! Feeling skilled in a particular line of work helped to also boost my confidence, which made me a better negotiator!
Build Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is your story and your reputation. It will paint a picture of you as a person unique from everyone else. It helps establish visibility and relevance because it helps your audience understand what you’re known for and what sets you apart from others.
It’s important to put thought into your personal brand and be able to articulate it clearly. One way to approach finding your brand is to think of how you would introduce yourself if you got into an elevator and met an executive who asked you what you do. What would you say? How would you quickly distill what you do, what value you bring to the table, and what you are working towards doing in the future so that the executive remembers you later on?
It can be really challenging to sit down and come up with your personal brand. I know it was for me! But it’s much easier to articulate who we are and what we stand for in a few sentences after spending time thinking about what we want our brand to be. You want to be intentional about building your brand, and you can do this by asking yourself the right questions and being reflective.
You can also use the DevelopHer Membership to ask other hard-working women in tech for help developing your personal brand. I created this community to help women get ahead, build their value, and learn how to communicate together. I provide five weekly challenges along with two monthly coaching sessions. You can check it out here!
Learn to Communicate Your Value
Learning to communicate your value is ultimately what will transform your career. You understand how important you are to the team – but how do you communicate that to your bosses? When people know you for your work, they will start seeking out opportunities for advancement. Many women find it hard to talk about themselves and their achievements – myself included! But when I realized that getting comfortable talking about myself was going to be a necessity in order to communicate my value, I knew I’d have to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
Once I figured out the right strategy and the right tools, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d anticipated. And you know what? It really did make a difference. The better I was able to relay my value to my bosses and those higher up, the more my career started to take off.
The better you are at understanding your value, building on it, and then communicating it to those above you, the easier time you’ll have in negotiating your worth. Let’s close the gender gap one step at a time. An advancement for one woman in tech is an advancement for us all. Get started today by joining the hundreds of women who are on their way to negotiating their worth and earning the salaries they deserve!