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3 Thoughts on Closing The Gender Wage Gap, According to Farnoosh Torabi

There are plenty of articles out there offering advice on how to get out of debt, how to pay off your loans, and how to build credit. But first things first; in order to get out of debt, or pay off a loan, or build some credit, you actually need to earn some money.
Photo Credit: @FARNOOSH/Twitter

Enter Farnoosh Torabi – Money Strategist, host of SoMoney podcast, and money contributor to O Magazine. Farnoosh is a writer and an advocate for working women, helping them earn the most money they can. This week, our own Lydia Frank, VP of Content at PayScale, had the opportunity to catch up with Farnoosh in a virtual discussion about closing the gender wage gap hosted by Gloria Feldt from Take the Lead Women. Here are some of the key takeaways from the discussion on gender equity.

All Of Your Skills Are Valuable

Before you begin to negotiate your salary, take inventory of your skills. Even if you’ve been out of the workforce for a period of time, you likely possess valuable skills that you haven’t identified. For example, many women who take maternity leave choose to volunteer within their community or help out at a local school. Look closely at those experiences, and pick out the new skills that are useful in a professional setting. Supervising a classroom full of kids? That’s people management. Organizing community events? That’s project management. Like Farnoosh says, every skill you have has value. By identifying those skills, you can potentially negotiate a higher salary.

Data Is Priceless

Farnoosh shared a story about her time as a Producer at a small news station. She had been at the station for a couple of years, and after some encouragement from friends and family decided to ask her HR team to discuss the pay band (basically the salary range) for her position. Legally, the HR team had to provide this information, but once she saw the actual numbers, she was shocked to learn that she was being paid half her market rate. The moral of this story? Data pays off. Which is exactly why it’s important to have a resource like PayScale in your pocket, a resource providing the data that allows you to find out exactly what you should be paid.

Take Control Of Your Own Situation

Nobody is going to do the hard work for you. You owe it to yourself — and your wallet — to do your due diligence on the jobs to which you’re applying, and to learn the market value for your skills. Without doing your homework, you’re likely to go into a salary negotiation situation blind, armed with zero information to help you make the case for a higher salary. At the end of the day, you need to speak up for yourself if you think you’re being underpaid or being offered a low salary. Research your market rate based on your skills, experience and location, and use that information to help you negotiate.

Added bonus? By negotiating confidently and securing a higher salary, you’re making it easier for other women in your organization to do the same.

Tell Us What You Think!

Do you have a solution for closing the gender wage gap? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter!


What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.