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  • Writer's pictureZsofia NAGY

Addressing the pay gap - one woman at a time

The pay gap discussion for women came up many times in the last years and it is still a topic that doesn't seem to have a broad enough coverage, where women actually share what worked for them.

So today, I share some of what worked for me & I'd like to ask others to share whatever they feel they can share from their own experience to help each other.

Background to the insights about me:

✅ Moved countries more than once with widely different pay grades

✅ Worked in many countries with different expectations & local "rules"

✅ Worked through the ranks/functions/roles from the very bottom

✅ I started with a pay gap of over 45% (compared to same role, same experience)

That's why I thought I'd help those starting out and haven't had a chance to hear these yet, or those who haven't muscled up the courage yet to ask for more.

Even if you don't want to push a fully fledged career, it is important to get fairly paid for what you do.

There are a few points to get results in general:

  1. Believe in yourself and know your professional worth

  2. Focus on the value you deliver every step on the way (from CV to interviews)

  3. Practice deflecting bias & negative comments from interviewers

  4. Know what you need to live comfortably in the country (cost of living for your lifestyle + what you want to spare) - do not ask under this!

  5. Set your boundaries (i.e. what you don't allow interviewers to do, no matter what…e.g. being regularly 10 min late from a 20-30 min interview)

  6. Only apply for roles that you'd truly be happy to do, except if you need the money - but then you must set up rules as to how long you are willing to do the job & what your next steps need to be

  7. Avoid asking for too much input from people who aren't relevant to the profession and to the level you are applying for (even family & friends can be wrong)

As an application pre-work, always do:

  • Research on the company and the potential boss & co-workers

  • Research on the applicable pay range

  • Prep your questions (both functional, company related & personality / values related)

  • Avoid jamming many interviews into one day, please - they drain energy - you can experiment with how many you can do well per day and stick to that number

As an application post-work, always do:

  • Evaluate how the interview went (how did it leave you feeling, was there any negative gut feel or red flag, what were the positive aspects etc.)

  • Evaluate what you could do better next time

  • Evaluate the company / interviewer(s) behaviour - if any of this leaves you short of your values, that's an immediate no or the very least it warrants follow-up questions

  • Evaluate if the offered pay would leave you satisfied without any further item in your benefit package (i.e. you can live on it comfortably & don't need to worry about basic spend)

You can all see, I didn't even address additional aspects of moving countries, or another critical aspect of having a plan (as many cannot afford to think of any of these).

I also didn't address slavery or similar issues, where women don't have a choice, or what they have is so limited that it doesn't qualify as a choice - as that's a different topic in itself and should not be lumped together ever (that's human rights category).

So for a start, if you try those points mentioned above, they should help you get a fair pay.

If the company doesn't want to pay fairly and you can say no, do say no and move on.

If you have to accept temporarily, then point No. 6 above applies!!

Today, I know I'm being paid what I'm worth (even as a solo entrepreneur).

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