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Here's How Women and Startups Can Accelerate Pay Equity in Tech  

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First Round Review
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The gender wage gap in the tech industry cannot simply come about when women advocate for higher pay for themselves.

  • Instead, it will require embracing and valuing diversity on both sides of the negotiating table. 
  • A three-pronged approach can be taken to help advance toward pay equity

How should underrepresented individuals approach a salary negation?

  • Figure out how much the people around you are making. Start with friends (of both genders) in similar positions and offer to disclose your salary as well. 
  • Look at pay datasets that have been compiled on Glassdoor and in VC firms and determine the salary range for your current position and the ones you want next.
  • Look up compensation laws in your state and leverage them to your advantage. 

What leads to a successful comp discussion outcome?

  • Consider this discussion in terms of your development at the company.
  • Give context for why you want a pay increase. 
  • Make it clear that you want to stay with the company and that the pay increase will correspond to increasing your value at the company
  • Don’t take a rejection personally. Instead, ask your manager to explain their context and reasoning for their decision.
  • Let this context be a new prompt to learn what changes you need to make to achieve the wage increase you want.
  • Be careful when mentioning other potential opportunities so your manager does not get defensive

What can startups do to lessen the wage gap?

  • Consider which comp negotiations have resulted in increased pay for employees and which have not to determine if they are the result of underlying biases. 
  • Collect data on the market rate for the positions at your company, so you can justify your pay. 
  • Encourage senior women to talk about pay and provide transparency regarding pay and pay decisions. 
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