Selah Vetter / Staff Writer
On Sept. 26, a panel of local businesswomen spoke to Samford University students about women in the workforce.
The organization FEW, Finance and Economics Women, hosted the
panel. The panel focused on the pay gap between men and women in the
Three women spoke at the event: Amy Johnson, Laura Clark and Suzanne Lane. Johnson is the global leader of demand generation at Optiv Inc. Clark is the executive vice president of commercial banking at Synovus. Lane is the vice president and chief financial officer at O’Neal
The women shared their negotiation stories. These stories covered wages, adjusted hours, benefits and promotions. The women shared practical advice and steps on how to advance in the workplace.
The women stressed the importance of going into a meeting or interview with data. They stated the importance of having evidence to back up your value at a company. Know the expectations and requirements of the position.
“Go back to the facts to show your value,” Lane said. Knowing the pay range of a certain job is important. US Department of Labor and Statistics has recent salary information.
“This job is actually worth this much and here’s why,” Johnson said.
Larger corporations and businesses have pay bands. Pay bands are levels and quartiles of the jobs at the company. This shows how to work up the quartiles.
“Take note of the metrics,” Johnson said.
The panel stressed the importance of keeping a negotiation professional, not personal. Do not use anecdotes nor bring up personal finances.
Lane stated that it is much easier to negotiate when you are starting or up for a promotion. It is harder to achieve a raise or promotion during the annual review. It is important to negotiate off-cycle in order to stand out.
Come into a meeting or interview knowing the solution. This makes it easier for the manager to agree to your raise or promotion.
“If you want something that’s different, you have to come up with the solution,” Clark said.
If the company is not financially able to give a raise, ask when to have the conversation again. While staying at one company shows stability, it is easier to shift to a different organization if salary is important.
“You have to have something empirical of here’s what the world
says and here’s what they say,” Clark said.
The panel emphasized the importance of knowing the legal rights of women.
“Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself because no one stands up for you like you,” Lane said.