Do you have what it takes to get paid what you’re worth?

by Katy Davis, IWL Intern


 On Tuesday, March 11, the Institute for Women’s Leadership (IWL) hosted a lecture on negotiation and the gender salary gap. Speaker Katie Donovan is the CEO of Equal Pay Negotiations LLC, a company that works with women to teach tactics, strategies, and provide tools to help them negotiate higher salaries.

Katie Donovan spoke to a mix of students and faculty members about the best way to phrase a request for higher pay as well as the best time to do so. One fact she opened up with was as follows: “When you switch jobs, you should always get at least 10% more pay. If it’s somewhere in the 40% range, that just shows you how underpaid you were in your last job.” According to Ms. Donovan, one should never ask for a raise during a yearly review. Also, if one does ask for a raise and ends up not receiving it, she should wait at least six months before asking again or bringing up the subject. When applying for jobs, NEVER fill in the space for current salary or desired salary.


 Among the students present was junior Samantha MacMillan, who took copious notes throughout the presentation. She said at the end, “Wow that was really informative. I feel so much more confident now about going into an interview and not being intimated by their offers.”

As a recent grad, Megan Woodruff ’13 felt three key points to take away from the session were:

(1) 84% of hiring managers expect you to negotiate.
(2) Expect to hold 15 jobs in your lifetime so, like interviewing, start practicing negotiating.
(3) Be sure to do your research and don’t underestimate your capabilities.

As a student myself, the one thing that really struck me during the presentation was the fact that it’s okay to reject the first offer. Maybe not completely, but at least we can try to rework it. Ms. Donovan isn’t suggesting we are all going to get the perfect job right after graduation, but she is saying we as women are worth more than we think, and we can afford to ask for a little more, whether it’s pay, vacation time, or flexible hours. Katie Donovan came to teach the women of Nichols College that they should not be afraid to ask for more, as long as they know how to do it properly.

“There are plenty of ships in the sea, don’t jump ship too soon” –Katie Donovan

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