5 Reasons You are Underpaid

The verdict is in.  Women are underpaid in the tech industry and closing the wage gap has been a long, arduous uphill battle.  Though progress has been made, there is still much work to be done.

Closing the wage gap helps close the wealth gap.  Paying women their worth is more than a rally cry for a women's rights protest.  It is a tide of equality, equity, and inclusion that raises all boats.

But...do women in tech KNOW their worth?

For a period of time in Corporate America, it was the nice girls who got the corner office.  Now, it is the baddies who get the bag.  But you cannot secure the bag if you cannot command it.

Here are 5 reasons why women are underpaid (and ways they can work to reverse the trend by changing their own behavior).
1. You do not have a 3-5 year career plan.

How do you reach a destination without a roadmap, sis?

Getting a high-paying job is one thing.  Having a strategic plan for career progression is a totally different level of boss babe.  Career progression requires that you know what positions you want to take and why.  Long gone are the days you chase any old job for a big pay day.  Knowing your why (how...and when) is playing the long game.  The profits is in the plan.

Define who/what you want to be in 3-5 years and create periodic checkpoints to get there.
2. You do not have monthly/quarterly meetings with your leadership team to assess your performance.
You are amazing at your job...but no one knows.  You show up early, work late, and take on more responsibility...but no one knows.  During year-end evaluations, you expect management to give you a pat on the back, $50k bonus, and a plaque that reads "Employee of the Decade"...but no one knows.

Do you know why no one knows?  Because you don't brag on yourself.  You do not keep daily/weekly/monthly logs of what you do and how well you do it.  You do not take the initiative to schedule monthly/quarterly check-ins with management to tell them about your greatness and get feedback on your performance.

Performance evaluation is an ongoing process (not just once per year) and you should be your biggest cheerleader tooting your horn all over the place including LinkedIn and team status reports.
3. You do not have a career coach to sharpen your interview/resume/negotiation skills
Success is a relationship business and a team sport.  Who is on your team? 

Career decisions are some of the biggest decisions you will ever make and many of us are going it alone.  Having a career coach helps you craft a customized career plan and be held accountable for execution.  A career coach also helps with interview, resume, and negotiation skills.  A really great career coach have good working relationships with top recruiters.

Imagine walking into an interview already having completed a mock interview.  Imagine negotiating for that raise with a portfolio of bragging rights already polished.  Imagine crafting custom resumes for the exact position you desire (not using a template resume crafted by a Fiverr expert who doesn't even know your name...no shade).

There are levels to this game, sis, and top earners have a career coach and community of mentors.
4. You do not know your market worth and unique value proposition

- Do you know your salary range for the position you desire?
- Do you know your unique value proposition?
- Do you know that industry standard for signing bonuses is 10% of your base salary...and all you have to do is ask.

To get your maximum value, you must know your numbers.  Long gone are the days where you ask for what you need instead of asking for what you are worth.  Determining your customized total compensation package requires detailed research.  Your career coach can help with that.
5. You do not negotiate the total compensation package

Speaking of total compensation package, many women are negotiating hard for base salary and leaving the rest of the money on the table.  But why?

Base pay is only one portion of the compensation package.  Compensation package includes:

  • Base pay
  • Signing bonus
  • Retention bonus
  • Performance bonus
  • Annual cost of living increase
  • Paid time off
  • Healthcare (medical, dental, disability, life insurance, etc.)
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Other perks
All of these things are negotiable.  So...negotiate.
It's true.  Some factors like job description, sexism, and many other isms are outside of our control.  For those things that are in our control, control them. 
Know your worth...then add tax.
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