I was happy to be on the ThoughtWorks panel about negotiation for women in tech. There were even a few men in the audience.
Negotiating a payrise
Michelle Gyimah is a Tech Gender Equality Consultant. She recommends keeping a folder of all your achievements through the year. It’s hard to remember everything you did well when it comes to your review.
A member of the audience suggested taking into account the 3 months’ productivity your employer will lose if you leave. Plus, the difference in your salary compared to the market average.
Tell your superiors about your colleagues if they’ve done great work. Everyone benefits from a boost.
Standing up for yourself
Vimla Appadoo is Service Designer and Community Manager at FutureEverything. She says if you experience any inappropriate behaviour from colleagues, don’t hesitate to call them out on it. For example, being called “darling” during meetings.
The panelists all agree that negotiation is not a battle. Both parties should leave negotiations feeling they’ve gotten what they want. Prepare well when negotiating in business situations. Decide on a minimum deal you’ll accept.
A successful negotiation also means being okay with walking away. Know your worth.
Women in tech
We talked about how women are outnumbered in the tech industry. It can be difficult for women to make themselves heard in meetings with several aggressive personalities.
Many women have been conditioned to believe standing up for themselves is too aggressive.
Women are called bossy, while men are called confident. It can be easier to simply stay silent. If people think you’re bossy, it might be that you feel on edge because you expect a negative reaction.
Meeting organisers can help women by making sure everyone is given a chance to speak.
Men can play a big role by inviting female colleagues to speak during meetings. They can also mentor their female colleagues and friends to help them develop negotiation skills.
You can practice negotiation in everyday life. For example, ask companies if they offer anything for free when you’re buying something.
It’s not easy to fix problems in society. If you work on your wellbeing and stay authentic, the right people will hear you.
Thank you to ThoughtWorks for hosting such a great panel talk. I personally came away with lots of inspiration for negotiating.
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