• « Back to Wise Practices
  • Salary Negotiation Workshops for Women

  • Location: Boston, USA

    Organization: American Association of University Women (AAUW)

    Empowering Bostons Women Through Salary Negotiation Workshops.

    About the Wise Practice

    Work Smart was launched in 2015 by the City of Boston and the American Association of University Women. The program offers free salary negotiation workshops to every woman who works or lives in Boston. Research has shown that women either don’t negotiate or are not as successful as men when they do negotiate. It is not just up to women to negotiate their salaries to close the gender wage gap, but providing women with concrete tools to empower them to negotiate in their own authentic way is an important factor in changing the culture and closing the gap. The program is designed to empower workshop participants, help them determine their value in the job market, and provide them with the concrete skills they need at the negotiation table. The first year of the program reached close to 1,800 women and the goal was set to see 85,000 women in Boston complete the program by 2021. The workshop is offered in-person and online and is now offered in eight cities and states across the US. After the first year there was a strong interest in having a more diverse cross-section of working women in Boston attend the workshops. Demographic data on workshop participants interviewed shows that a majority of them have been white. Targeting women of color needs to be an intentional part of program delivery. Many women indicated that they learned about the workshop through professional networking groups that may not be as accessible to women of colour. There was strong consensus among workshop completers about wanting to organize post-workshop connections and continued skill-building opportunities. Suggestions include:
    1. – Develop an online network of workshop completers through social media
    2. – Provide contact information for trained career counselors
    3. – Ask facilitators about their interest in being mentors after the workshop and provide contact information for those willing to do so
    4. – Share stories of successful salary negotiation strategies through message boards or other safe platforms

    Category

    Economic Security

    Goals

    Goal 1: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, by ensuring decent work and equal pay for equal work, or work of equal value (NUA 13c, 57; SDG 8.5; CEDAW article 11).

    Measurement

    After the first year of the workshops a case study was compiled and included analysis based primarily on in-depth interviews with 52 women who completed workshops.87% identified target salaries, using objective market research to develop an appropriate compensation level. 73% benchmarked their salaries, using market research to compare their pay level to similar positions 48% either negotiated increased compensation for their existing job or achieved a competitive starting salary for a new job or position. 40% started conversations with their supervisors about their work and their value to their employer 29% asked for a raise in their current job. 71% referred co-workers, colleagues and/or friends to AAUW Work Smart in Boston.

    Monitoring

    The program is run under the direction of the AAUW and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. Current monitoring details are not available.

    Lessons Learned

    After the first year there was a strong interest in having a more diverse cross-section of working women in Boston attend the workshops.    Demographic data on workshop participants interviewed shows that a majority of them have been white. Targeting women of color needs to be an intentional part of program delivery. Many women indicated that they learned about the workshop through professional networking groups that may not be as accessible to women of colour.    There was strong consensus among workshop completers about wanting to organize post-workshop connections and continued skill-building opportunities.    Suggestions include:    
    • Develop an online network of workshop completers through social media
    • Provide contact information for trained career counselors 
    • Ask facilitators about their interest in being mentors after the workshop and provide contact information for those willing to do so
    • Share stories of successful salary negotiation strategies through message boards or other safe platforms

    Resources and More Information

    1. One Year Report on Program
    2. More information about the workshops
    3. AAUW Work Smart Site