Teri’s Notebook: Seminar teaches tools of negotiation
National statistics show women make on average 80 cents to the dollar men earn. A Work Smart seminar at Western Nevada College last Saturday illustrated the long-term effects of the discrepancy, when a woman is hired at a starting wage $2,000 annually lower than a man.
“In 10 years, he’s made $50,000 more than she has,” said facilitator Jennifer Verive. “This is huge.”
Co-facilitator Peggy Wozniak elaborated.
“Now imagine what that gap is going to look like at the end of a career,” she said. “The woman has earned $430,480 less than the man over 40 years.”
More than just point out the problem, the workshop put on by the American Association of University Women helped participants learn how to better negotiate for salary, benefits and raises.
“This workshop is to give you the objectives and strategies to successfully and confidently negotiate in the workplace,” Verive said. “Negotiation is a conversation, not a battle.”
The initial seminar, sponsored by Partnership Carson City, was presented to a select group of community members to solicit feedback and interest levels.
Caroline Punches, president of the AAUW capital branch, said the organization is training more facilitators and looking for sponsors to help put on the workshops.
“We want to be able to do this more often,” she said. “We’re hoping to be able to that.”
Wozniak, a former superintendent of schools, shared her own growth over her career, improving her negotiation skills from her first job as a superintendent.
“I probably didn’t do a great job of it when I look at the comparison,” she said. “I’m hoping to help all of you have a better road ahead and earn what you deserve.”
Participants are each given a workbook to follow along with the principles being taught in the class. Exercises are designed to help participants identify their value based on objective points including experience, accomplishments, skills and work experience.
“What you need, what you want, your big woe story — there’s no place for that,” Verive said.
After learning how to determine a realistic target salary range, participants are often broken into groups to practice new skills.
“The more you practice in a non-stressful situation, the more likely you are to be successful,” Wozniak said.
For information about scheduling or sponsoring a workshop, contact Caroline Punches at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at email@example.com.