Today is Equal Pay Day. It marks how far into the current year women have to work in order to earn what men made last year. If that’s not enough motivation to ask for a raise, Ladies Get Paid has put together a Workplace Bill of Rights which makes clear just how far we still have to go. Women are encouraged to review it before a negotiation to remember that, “whatever job you have, wherever you work, there is an army of us behind you.”
Inspired by a post-election town hall meeting attended by 100 women in New York City, the Workplace Bill of Rights consists of 10 articles that together make a manifesto about workplace equality.
Ladies Get Paid is an organization that hosts town hall meetings, trainings and webinars for women around money and careers. Members can also message each other in a private Slack team. (Membership is free.) Negotiation training is an important part of that work.
Claire Wasserman is the founder, and she has set the business up to practice what it preaches: if you teach a class, lead a town hall meeting or host a webinar, you’ll be paid for your time and expertise. Events are promoted to reach a large audience at an affordable price: town halls are $10, workshops are $20 or $25. Revenue is then split evenly between Ladies Get Paid and the instructor.
“A lot of people talk about the gender wage gap being 78 cents on the dollar, but for black and Latina women, that drops to 66 cents and 53 cents, respectively,” says Ashley Louise, head of business development and operations. “We want to shine a light on the wage gap and give people space to strategize. One thing we say is if you’re in a negotiation, don’t just do it for you, do it for the woman next to you.”
The first article addresses the gender wage gap directly: “Wage parity is a benefit for all. The pursuit of equal pay for equal jobs will advance not only women but society as a whole.”
Entering a negotiation with the mindset that your success impacts others can have a powerful effect on your outcome because women achieve better results when they negotiate on behalf of others.
Ladies Get Paid advocates for wage transparency. The third article in their Workplace Bill of Rights reads: “Transparency begets equality. Speaking freely about money is a right and should not be discouraged or stigmatized.”
“Discouraging people from talking about their salaries depresses wages,” says Louise. To that end, there is a Slack channel specifically dedicated to negotiation. According to Louise, “It’s a combination of crowdsourcing, strategizing and language. Reaching that consensus gives you more power going into a situation when you know others have gone through it.”
Drawing on feedback from the community makes sense given that women are more likely to negotiate when they are given social permission to do so — i.e., when a job description explicitly says the salary is negotiable.
“Women oftentimes don’t have an accurate view of what they are worth at work and in the marketplace,” says Louise. “Our fundamental mission is to help women find their worth, believe in it and advocate for it. Everything we do comes back to that.”
This post originally appeared in Women@Forbes, where Alexandra Dickinson is a contributor. She writes about how to use a negotiation mindset to achieve your goals.