Where We Stand: Equal Pay in 2018

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

It’s true that one of the main reasons I joined Helpshift back in September is because we have far too few female CEOs in tech. But it’s not just about changing the gender ratio in leadership, it’s about building a path towards change at all levels. Even prior to my first day, I asked for a company-wide salary report to gauge if there was any discrimination. I was pleased to see that there wasn’t a pay gap, and that offers were going out based on fair market value. Yet there was more that could be done.

Too often, women don’t try to negotiate their salaries. Even though Helpshift has a solid track record of initially offering appropriate compensation based on the role, we’ve recently started going back to some female candidates and offering more if they don’t ask for it. We are doing what we can to let them know that it’s not just okay to ask for more, but that they should— and that it displays strength and self-worth.

That being said, I don’t give internal promotions lightly— I view them as needing to be 100 percent earned and not given. So I was thrilled to be able to promote two of Helpshift’s most impactful women to VP and director-level roles based on true contribution and achievement earlier this year.

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t be given more just because we are women, but that those many women who are high-performers deserve greater visibility and recognition—along with corresponding confidence.

So here are five quick ways to accurately evaluate your compensation, decide whether to ask for more, and how to do so:

  1. Know your value. Research the market-value for salaries of similar roles based on location and seniority via outlets like Glassdoor, industry-specific recruiters, and Meetup groups.
  2. Start the conversation. Ask your manager if he/she thinks you are receiving pay that is equal to your value.
  3. Understand the full picture. Salaries vary depending on factors like company size, so make sure you are looking at the full compensation package including benefits and perks.
  4. Be prepared for that follow up conversation. Even after you initially approach the topic with your manager, the onus may still be on you to continue the conversation.
  5. Align your career goals. Salary aside, are you on the path you want to be on in terms of longer term career goals and objectives? This has value that needs to be weighted as well.

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