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Power & Equal Pay

· power,equal pay,Negotiations,Negotiation tips,pay wage gap

Let's continue our conversation around owning our power.

I wanted to explore this topic more, so Malika and I did a Live on IG:

 Here are a few key moments from our conversation, if you want to scroll through and watch what is pertinent:


We believe "the other person on the other side has all the power when we're negotiating for a a raise or for more money in a new position, or even with, you know, even with clients or whatever you feel like the other person has that power to make the decisions. And that's just simply not true."


...when you just got a job or they're making an offer, I feel like the tendency is like, I want them to like me. Right? I want to make it easy. You know? Like what if they change their mind? I want, and I think part of, for people who identify as women in particular, like I think one of the hard things about power is that it feels contradictory to being liked. Right? Like it seems like those things do not align. And so we're having to weigh, am I in my fullness? Do I ask for what I want? Am I clear and direct or do people like me?  


Nobody's doing you a favor by making you an offer. Like that is just not how business works. So there's, it's like trusting that. Okay. There's something that I'm bringing that they want. And they also wanna make it easy for me to say yes. 


Ask yourself and then whomever you're negotiating with: "How can you help me feel good about accepting it? Like if we change these numbers, I would feel great right now. I don't feel great. And I don't think you want me to be here unless I feel feels like a really good fit."


nobody wants someone to accept a position that they're doing begrudgingly or if they feel like they're being undervalued. And I think you see this probably with a lot of your clients where the mentality is like, well, let me just get in the door, you know? And then later I can show my value or change the situation. Like better not make it ruffle any feathers at the beginning. Let me just get in at this lower thing, lower title or whatever. Yes. And, and then we know how hard it is to change that once you're in with that position. 


you're gonna leave so much more money on off the table if you start off from this lower price point. 


On Equal Pay Day (this is really important, so watch the video or read the transcript below, if you are hearing impaired):

Malika: I've been educated this week? I hadn't, I I know about equal payday and I support it. And it's, I did not realize that the day moves each year, according to where the wage gap is. So the number of days it is into the year is the number of extra days a woman would have to work to earn the same amount that a man earned in the previous year in that, in, in the United States. So that's why it's March 15th, this or last year it was March 30th. So the gap has closed very, you know, by whatever 15 days. 

Katy (08:51): 

So what that means is a man can work all of 2021 and make the same amount of money, but a woman has to work all of 2021 plus all of the days up until March 15th of this year. Yes. In order to make it equal exactly the equal amount of money. And you said that, and then this, this doesn't even to people of color, right? 

M (09:16): 

No. So it's like, and I, and I don't know all of the kindof instruments or data that goes into that calculation right now, they're saying it's 83 cents. Women make 83 cents on the dollar, but that's white women. It's lower for Asian women. It's lower for black women. It's lower for Latino women. It's lower for indigenous women. And so if those dates were all calculated for these different subgroups, it's like equal pay day for black women would be in October. So they'd have to work all of 2021 and then all the way through October to make like what a white man makes. 

K (09:58): 

Year. I mean, that's almost two years, right? Exactly. That's almost 

M (10:02): 

Traditional year. Yes. Before you make the same amount of money 

M (10:06): 

And this, this you know, calculation 83 cents on the dollar, it's only looking at wages. So like pure the pay, what you're getting paid salary wise or hourly wages. It does not factor in all of the other benefits that kind of make up our compensation. So, you know, it's like if somebody is getting health insurance or they have a 401k or, you know, these other yeah. Benefits, it was add up to a dollar amount too. And if that was actually calculated in the full picture, it would be closer to 53 cents on the dollar, which is just, it's a absurd. I know it's so it's, so it's, it's almost 

K (10:53): 

Like half yeah. 53 cents to the dollar, like, yeah. 

M (10:57): 


M (10:58): 

It's important to like to see these numbers because I think it's sobering and we can forget, you know, especially like I'm an entrepreneur, you know, I'm not really in a position where I'm negotiating salary necessarily, but the pay wage gap exists among entrepreneurs too. And women who are kind of in the position of paying themselves, pay themselves less than men. And it's actually a bigger gap in the entrepreneur space which is then you have to get to like, okay, well, what are the, there are certainly a lot of systemic issues that go into this number or historically, and, you know, there are people working on policy fronts to change this. That's absolutely true. And it's not just, you know, every woman, if every woman asked for a raise, we would erase the pay gap. Like that's not, I don't think that would solve everything and slash, but I think there are ways that we can advocate more for ourselves on an individual level. 

M (12:05): 

And we need to know kind of when we make more money, women are making more money. Like we represent a part of that statistic. And so kind of the more you are able to increase your earnings, the better that is for like women as a whole. It's not just your own kind of seemingly feeling selfish or whatever. Cuz I think a lot of times it's like, well it's such a hassle it's I don't wanna do that work. I don't wanna I mean it's a hassle it's also can be very scary right. To, to ask for something different than what was presented to you. 

K (12:46): 

Yeah. And, and well, what do you think is the main things behind that fear? Because you know, I think that if we're really addressing that, we need to like look at why, why are we so afraid of actually asking for more money because, and let me give you a quick example of this is. I know  somebody who actually applied for this job. And then I knew the, the people in charge of hiring. And I knew that there was a gap between what she accepted. She accepted the first offer. They gave her a certain rate and this was for a TV producing gig. So it's actually a freelance gig. So no benefits or any of that kind of stuff. And and she accepted the offer, the first offer. And, but I knew there was at least two or $3,000 more in the budget for that position that she left on the table. And and when I kind of talked to her about, it was like, why did you, why did you accept thefirst offer? Why didn't you like actually ask for more? And she was like, well it's because one, I think like, I, I don't want them to get upset, you know, or like not give me the offer. And I'm like, if they're offering you this, they're, they're gonna give. 

M (14:13): 

they want you, right. 

K (14:14): 

exactly. Even if they don't come back exactly. Which she say, you're gonna want, like there, there is this room. Right. And then two I mean, I didn't tell her that I knew that there was, because it, it would've been complicated to actually mention how I knew. Yeah. but I find that nobody on the other side usually is like, let me give you the top of our budget either. Right. Right. Like most of the time they're also looking to negotiate and see where things land for themselves as well. Yeah. And so what do you think it is about ourselves, especially as women, right? Like I find more women tend to just accept the first offer. Yeah. And not negotiate. What do you think it is? 

M (15:08): 

I think part of it, going back to that, what we were saying in the beginning, like the sense of relief of having a job offer and feeling like you might not get another one, you don't know, you don't wanna tempt fate and you don't want them to change their mind. Right. And so it's like, you don't wanna be difficult by pushing back or negotiating. I think there's something else that I've seen, which is this sense of like, well, I wanna be grateful for that. I'm getting a job and that they're gonna pay me, you know? And I don't wanna come across as I'm grateful if I ask for more, which I think that's, you know, that's really messed up. Right? 

K (15:53): 

Yeah. Cause my idea is like, it can be both, right? Like you... 

M (15:56): 

Can be 

K (15:57): 

Super grateful that they are totally, they want you and,and you're getting this job and you can negotiate what, you know, from more money. And the things that you really feel like is is, is what you need to, to live off of or whatever. Right. Like, yes. 

M (16:16): 

Yeah. And I, but I think that's something that we need to hear more of like gratitude and having higher standards for yourself are not mutually exclusive. Right. You can be gracious. You can be grateful, you can be excited and you can also ask or what you want or ask for what you need. Right? And what you said with that client of like, I don't want them to get upset at me. I think we have this idea that when you ask for more, it's gonna make the employer or whoever upset that anger will be their reaction. And like the worst thing you wanna do this goes back to power, you know, makes somebody mad at you. Right. Or cause someone to have an emotional, a negative emotional response because of your actions. And it's like, well, to, to your point, it's business, like as a business, when you're making an offer, you're not gonna offer the top of your budget as, as a policy. 

M (17:11): 

Right. Because you're concerned about the bottom line. Andso it's, and that's not always, even I think from the, you don't have, I mean,you could look at it as like, well, they don't value these people or whatever, but it's like, it's a financial decision. It's a strategy. Right. And so it's like being able to know that without making it mean anything about you and then to be able to like go back and strategy what you need so that it's like you meet in the middle. But I think there's percent, there's a lot of things going on emotionally when we're in that position of wanting of wanting a job or yeah. Meeting or being on the other, this, you know, the certain side of that power dynamic where it feels like, yeah, I want them to like me. I wanna make it easy. I don't wanna be the squeaky will, I don't wanna be known as the woman who, you know, needed more money. Maybe they'll just go somebody who needed less. And like, I think the hard part is like, that could happen. Right? Like they could say, okay, you're out of our range or something like that, especially in a freelance situation 

M (18:25): 

I think more than not it's if somebody wants to work with you, they wanna work with you. Yeah. They wanna know the terms that is gonna make it possible for them to work with you. 

K (18:35): 

And I believe that if you also can really show them that you are the best candidate. Right. So that it doesn't become a, oh, we can just replace this person with another person that's cheaper, you know, situation. Right. Like what is it about you specifically that can do this, this job in a, in your own unique way that, you know, would actually make the, the AC the product or whatever it is that you're doing even better. 

M (19:08): 

Yes, yes. Right. And that the like going to, you know, the subtle ways that we give away our power, I think that plays into this piece around devaluing our expertise and our skills. Right. And why it's so important to know what you're good at and why, what you bring in the room and what you do so that you can't articulate it in those situations and believe it, you know, it's not just, oh, my resume speaks for itself. It's like, no, I can actually talk about how I transformed this thing and brought all these, you know, had all these results and like, and I feel good talking about it. I don't feel like it's, I'm being arrogant or over the top or whatever. And I think that that takes practice because we're not often encouraged to talk about ourselves in that way. And it doesn't feel, it might not feel natural. Right. But there are moments when you really do need to make it clear why you are the best choice. 

K (20:17): 

Absolutely. 100%. And, and then when they actually can feel that from you, I mean, it's actually exciting, right? Yeah. Like your ability to translate and tell somebody else, like what makes you, and what are your skill sets and talents also translates to them as you are so passionate about this. Yes. You're so passionate about this that we're like, yeah, we're excited now. Right. We're excited about bringing you on because of not just your kind of quantifiable skill sets, but then also these other the energy that you're bringing into into that, you know into that position, youknow, makes them like go, oh yeah, this is so, so great. Because like, even today I was, I was hiring an editor to do some a little side project that I'm working on. And this woman's like enthused...she, she was just so excited,you know, she was so excited. And then she had the ability to explain to me why she is a good fit for this role. Right. and the way she like presented it, it never, never felt like she was bragging about herself. Right. You know, or, or, you know yeah. Like just being overly confident or something. I don't know. Like, I don't even know if there is sucha thing, but like, but instead it, what it translated to me was that she is the perfect person for it because of like, not just her skillset, but also the way she presented her skillset. Yeah. You know, showed me that. Yeah. Like this is somebody that I wanna work with and you know, her, her excitement and passion really is the key there. 

M (22:22): 

Yeah. It made it easy for you to make that choice. 

K (22:27): 

Right. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So we are, we're not gonna keep going because we could like the two of us that talk about this subject forever. But we are going to probably in what, what was it we talked about in like yes, having a workshop to help you and anyone who is watching or watching later to actually be able to negotiate better, to start making more money. Especially as women, we are really, really passionate about helping women to do this. Because yeah, like you were talking about, you know, it's, it's, you know, if you take benefits and everything else, we're making 53 cents to the dollar to men. Yeah. Which is yeah. Like crazy. Right. And even if you didn't take benefits into account, you know, it's where, you know, white women are making 83 cents to the dollar. People of color are making way less than 83 cents per dollar. And we wanna start to shift that, you know, shift that for ourselves and for the generations of other women that are coming, you know, behind us next to us all around us, you know, because sometimes when we see somebody else being able to do it, it helps inspire us or inspires us to be able to do it. 

M (24:03): 

Absolutely. And I that's, I think that's so important. I was just saying that you have a legacy, whether you know it or not. And so your financial choices, your ability to advocate for yourself, it really does impact other, other people and the future. And so if you want equal payday to be on January 1st in the future, and not later in the year, you know, it's like, you are a part of that shift. 

M (24:33): 

I think Something that we'll share, we'll talk about when we get into our workshop in June is that it's not just about salary, you know,it's, there's so many ways and places for us to negotiate and to advocate for ourselves. And that is really kind of a lifestyle right. Of just expecting more for yourself and asking for it and being able to take that risk.   

K (25:07): 

Absolutely somebody was just talking to me about this, how they felt like they didn't want to change careers or change jobs. Because they're working for a nonprofit right now, and that nonprofit actually allows them to have a lot more flexibility in their acting career. And however, it's not paying the bills. It's like, she's, she's working 40 hours a week at this nonprofit job. Then she goes and works like 15 or 16 hours a week as a bartender. And so it's like, well, what would that mean? If you were able to shift into a position where you only work 40 hours a week, right? Yeah. And you would get that 16 hours back to actually be able to create and do the other stuff that you really, really wanna be doing. Yeah. You know, so it, you know, and then these are the things you get to negotiate too. Yes. You, you know, especially these days, you know, with the, you know, with the way most people are working now from home. And then also there's like a lack of, I feel like this is actually a really good time for people to get into new positions and all that kind of stuff. Like employers are really looking for good people. 

K (26:27): 

Yeah. You know, so you get to negotiate what that looks like. You know, if you need to take time off, like you, you get to say that at the beginning, you know, and set up those expectations so that somebody, you know, your future employers are going okay, we understand that this is the parameter for, you know, for how you, you work best. Right. Yes. Because we wanna get the best out of somebody, you know, as an employer. 

M (26:54): Yes, absolutely. And I think that's, that speaks to this, just the idea of power and choice. Right. I think power is agency and having options. And it's knowing when you have the opportunity to really flex that and to make decisions and to give somebody the opportunity to help you make the choice that you want, you know, and co-create the position or the parameters, right. It's not just what was stated in the job description necessarily. Like you have power to, to create something different for yourself. So yes, so many, so many applications and implications with that. So follow us if you're not already stay tuned, we'll be sharing more details over the coming months. But we will be co-leading a workshop around negotiation. So stay tuned for more conversations in the meantime.


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