Ask Dr. Job’s chief contributor, Sandra Pesmen, is a member of the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and author of “DR. JOB’s Complete Career Guide.”

Winner of several journalism awards, Pesmen is a graduate of the University of Illinois Media College at Urbana, and is listed in several Who’s Who editions. She also has been Corporate Features Editor of Crain Communications Inc., founding Features Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a reporter/features writer for The Chicago Daily News.

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Women Can Get Equal Pay

Everyone agrees that women, even those who "over-achieve" receive "under-achieving" salaries. So why is that?  In a word, its 'negotiation,' says Mariela Dabbah, author of Find Your Inner Red Shoes:Step Into Your Own Style of Success.  

The first step in correcting that fault is to discover it's cause. Following are Dabbah's reasons:

-- Women are convinced that their circumstances are fixed and out of their control, whereas men tend to see negotiation possibilities everywhere. 

-- Women see common interest and try to find a joint solution, whereas men say, "This is what I want and I won't budge." 

-- A women's sense of entitlement is weaker than a man's. A study conducted by two psychologists found that females would pay themselves 19% less than males would for the same task. 

-- Unlike men, women don't lobby for pay raises *in advance* of performance evaluations. Then when pay-raises occur, managers (male or female) think Jane didn't ask for anything so I can give her a smaller share, and give John what he wants so he doesn't quit. 

-- Studies show an aggressive attitude sometimes displayed by men generates a negative perception if exhibited by women.    

Dabbah believes the secret of negotiating for women lies in knowing your worth, keeping your integrity, being true to yourself, and creating alliances with men who could support you throughout the negotiation process.  She offers tips below: for becoming a better negotiator and getting what you deserve:

1.) Establish clear goals. Ask for what you need and what you want. 

2.) Equip yourself with knowledge of what's fair and typical. 

3.) Make a list of what you are willing to give up and what's non-negotiable.

4.) Talk about your achievements objectively and use numbers to quantify your achievements.

5.) Earn more than a salary - negotiate your vacation time, work-at-home time, title, office space, promotions, projects, budgets, and responsibilities.

6.) See the potential to negotiate everything and everywhere - personally and professionally.

7.) Take a win-win position by anticipating questions and seeing things from the other person's perspective.

8.) Control your emotions and don't take things personally. 

9.) If all else fails, consider a 'best alternative to a negotiated agreement' or BATNA.  Having a worst-case scenario in the back of your mind will often prove to get you more than you'd receive if you didn't negotiate at all.  

10.) Always convey self-confidence, conviction of ideas, and certainty to gain an advantage in negotiations.

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