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How to Negotiate Pay as a Black Woman

Black women are the fastest-growing workforce segment and are among the lowest paid, making an average of $36,000 annually. That’s compared to white men who make $51,000 yearly and white women who make $41,000. With that in mind, negotiating your pay is more important than ever for black women.

It’s a savvy strategy for increasing your earnings potential, enabling you to command a higher salary and negotiate additional benefits. But this can be challenging for anyone, especially if it’s your first job or you don’t have much experience under your belt.

Know Your Worth Before You Negotiate

Before you even put on your interview suit, you’ll want to start considering how to negotiate your salary. You’ll never get what you want if you don’t know your worth.

You can learn from other professionals’ experiences. Flex Jobs recently surveyed 1,000 professionals about their salaries and found that a common mistake people make when negotiating their pay is that they don’t do it soon enough.

Negotiating Is Key To Earning More Money

For young black women, negotiating your salary or the terms of a new job can be downright scary. Many feel that doing so will work against them and that their bosses will give them a lower salary or perceive them as too aggressive.

But, the fact is that you have every right to negotiate. If your previous job paid you $60,000, but you currently make $80,000 in your new role (and you want to make $100,000), you should feel confident enough to approach your boss and ask for a higher salary.

Remember, you’re not asking for more money simply because you want it — you’re asking because you deserve it. Black women make less than white men and women, but they deserve the same pay as their peers.

Be Clear About What You Want And Why You Deserve It

You’ll want to be clear about your request before you begin negotiating, and you should also be prepared to explain why you deserve it. If you’re asking for a raise of $5,000, you should know the average salary for your position and how much your peers make.

If your request is reasonable and you have a clear, thoughtful argument, there’s a good chance that you’ll get what you want. On the other hand, if you ask for a higher salary without a reasonable explanation, you’ll probably walk away empty-handed.

The Wall Street Journal recommends that you first set a goal for your salary and then decide on a strategy for getting there. You could ask for a specific salary, which may make your employer feel boxed in. Alternatively, you could suggest a salary range, which gives your boss more leeway but still lets them know what you want.

Ask for Transparency Over Pay Rates and Criteria

If you’re interviewing for a new position, don’t hesitate to ask your hiring manager why you’re being offered a specific salary. You can even ask for transparency over the criteria used to determine your salary and benefits and the average rate for your position.

Employers want to ensure they’re hiring the right person for the job, so they often base your salary on your experience and education. You can use this to your advantage by highlighting your qualifications and explaining why you deserve a higher salary.

If you don’t get the salary you want, you can always ask for a higher one. You can also ask for more benefits, like a flexible work schedule or commuter benefits.

Be Confident, But Be Respectful Too

Negotiating is an art, and not everyone can do it. You want to be confident in your skills and experience and respect your current employer. You don’t want to be too cocky and risk being fired, but you shouldn’t let a low salary bring down your work ethic.

You’ll want to be polite and conscientious but also have a clear vision of what you want and why you deserve it. That way, even if your employer doesn’t give you everything you asked for, you’ll still walk away feeling like you achieved something and made your mark.

Know When To Walk Away

Even if you’re confident in your skills and have done everything right up until now, there will be times when you should walk away from a deal. This includes if you’re interviewing for a job and someone offers you a low salary.

While taking the job anyway (especially if you need the money) might seem like a good idea, you’ll only be hurting yourself in the long run. You’ll be working for someone who doesn’t respect you and probably won’t be happy at work.

In most cases, you’re not required to accept the first salary that your employer offers you. You have every right to negotiate your salary, benefits, and everything else.


Negotiating your salary doesn’t have to be a scary process. You can do it in a way that makes you feel empowered and confident and walk away with a beneficial deal. Remember, companies want to hire people who know their worth!

If you don’t know what you’re worth and how to negotiate, you leave money on the table. But if you practice these tips and use them when it’s time to negotiate, you’ll walk away with a better deal.






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