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Student Organizes April 24 Salary-Negotiation Workshop to Combat Gender Wage Gap

Posted by: / April 22, 2015
Career Fair recruiter talking to a student

Image: According to research by the American Association of University Women, over the course of her life, a woman will earn roughly $1 million less than a man, simply because she is a woman. (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)

By Sandy Deneau Dunham
PLU Marketing & Communications

TACOMA, Wash. (April 22, 2015)—According to research by the American Association of University Women, women earn 82 percent of what their male counterparts earn one year after graduation, and the gender wage gap widens over the next 10 years. Over the course of her life, a woman will earn roughly $1 million less than a man, simply because she is a woman.

Event Details

What: $mart $tart salary negotiation workshop.
2-5 p.m. Friday, April 24.
Where: Anderson University Center 201.
Admission: Free and open to all students. Refreshments provided.
To register: Click here.
For more information: Contact Nellie Moran at moranhc@plu.edu.

Helen "Nellie" Moran '15 (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)

Helen “Nellie” Moran ’15 (Photo: John Froschauer/PLU)

Pacific Lutheran University student Helen “Nellie” Moran ’15 finds that frustrating—and, in typical Lute fashion, decided to do something about it: She has coordinated with the AAUW to host $mart $tart, a salary-negotiation workshop focused on overcoming that wage gap. The April 24 workshop is free, open to all students and co-sponsored by Career Connections.

“As a student who is graduating in a month and beginning to look for jobs, I think its extremely important to understand how to value your education and experience,” Moran said. “Many students are chiefly concerned with finding a job and don’t realize that they do have some agency to negotiate their salary.”

Catherine Swearingen, Executive Director of PLU’s Career Connections, said everyone can benefit from this workshop, so while the focus is on women, it is open to all students.

“The AAUW workshop is a powerful learning tool that delves deeper into the wage gap, strategies for negotiation, budgeting and building confidence to ask for more money,” she said.

Moran said the workshop will help participants understand how the gender gap affects them and learn how to:

  • develop a personal budget to determine salary needs;
  • ensure you are receiving equal pay for equal work from the beginning of your career all the way to retirement;
  • negotiate a first salary out of college; and
  • benchmark salary and benefits.

“It’s critical to know your value to an employer when considering a job offer,” Swearingen said. “Women negotiate salary far less often than their male counterparts, and the financial impact is significant over the course of their lifetime. An employer will not rescind an offer because you counter with a realistic and fair number—if they do, that should be a red flag, and you would be wise to cross that organization off your list.”