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AAUW hosting salary negotiation workshop

March 20, 2017

Women generally earn about 20 percent less than a man does for the same work. This gender pay gap is even greater for most women of color, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE).

To help minimize this number for Dakota State graduates, the Madison chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), is hosting a workshop to help prospective graduates learn to better negotiate salaries.

The Smart Start salary negotiation workshop is planned for Tuesday, March 28, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Mundt Foundation, on the DSU campus.

“Many job-seekers focus their attention on getting a job offer, but far fewer think about what they should do once they receive that offer,” said AAUW member Deana Hueners-Nelson. “The Smart Start workshop helps students develop necessary skills to negotiate an offer.”

Colleen Ryan, president of the Madison AAUW chapter, has been trained in the program, and will facilitate the workshop.

“I want students who attend the AAUW Start Smart workshop to learn that they need to negotiate their salary, and that it is ok to do so,” Ryan said.

“It is important for students to be able to determine their market value and practice negotiating,” she added, “so they can go into an interview confident in what they are worth and confident in their negotiating skills.”

Hueners-Nelson, who is an instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences, added that “Helping young women to understand their worth and to learn how to negotiate for salary and benefits is empowering, and empowering women is AAUW’s primary goal.”

While designed for women, the workshop is open to all students, Ryan added, because for any gender, these will be life-long strategies and skills, Ryan said, ones that offer life-long benefits.

For women however, the AAUW training description says that “With fair and equitable salaries, women have an easier time paying off student loans and saving for retirement — both factors that lead to greater economic security.” Hueners-Nelson added that higher salaries allow women to pass those benefits and security on to their families and communities. 

The March 28 event is in advance of the NCPE public awareness event called Equal Pay Day held annually since 1996. This “is the symbolic day when women’s pay finally ‘catches up’ to the wages that men took home the previous year,” says the AAUW website. In 2017, this day will be April 4.