According to a 2022 Deloitte article, the technology and telecommunications sectors are set to close the gender gap in the years ahead. Both industries are expected to see an increase in women in the industry and in more senior roles. As more women begin to join the telecommunications industry it is important that they are equipped with the knowledge to ask for and negotiate the compensation packages they deserve. A few keywords to keep in mind when approaching a salary negotiation are time, research, and expectations.
Taking your time prior to a negotiation goes a long way. During my first few professional negotiation experiences, I was impatient, so I took whatever amount was offered to me. I was eager to start at the company and insecure in my abilities, so I wanted to get the paperwork completed as soon as possible. In retrospect, I could have positioned myself into a better deal if I was more comfortable with taking my time. When a compensation package is offered to you, ask if you can take some time to think about it. Even if you know what to counter with or are happy with the initial offer, asking for some time to think about the offer allows you the opportunity to do additional research and set your expectations. The negotiation phase is your opportunity to take your time before you move forward with a company. The highest salary increases are often seen when joining a new company versus moving upwards within your current organization.
WWLF Director Debra Mercier’s number one tip when it comes to salary negotiation is “do your research”. Research is the second keyword to think about when preparing for a negotiation and it extends beyond just looking at what a company typically offers for a certain position. The first step of completing research starts with using tools such as LinkedIn Premium or Glassdoor to see what the company typically offers for the position you are applying for. Next, look at similar positions in the company and the positions that are above the one you will hopefully be accepting. Understanding the base salary for numerous positions in an organization allows you to be knowledgeable about what you can potentially earn as you promote within the organization. The next step is to engage with your professional network. Reach out to professionals you know in the industry and ask them “what would you expect the salary range for this position to be?”. The members in WWLF are great resources to field this information. Many of the women in this organization are well versed in the salaries for different positions and have most likely been in similar positions as you. Another tip is to look at different job titles that have similar responsibilities. The job titles between companies may vary but taking the time to research the salaries tied to positions that have similar objectives to the one you are applying for leaves you better equipped in your negotiation.
The third key word to think about is expectations. The research portion of your prep allows you to set expectations around what the position offers but you also want to set expectations around yourself. Think about what your minimum acceptable number is and how to respond to it. Prepare written responses to accept, counteroffer or decline. These responses and numbers should vary from company to company depending on the full compensation package.
With time, research, and proper expectations, any newcomer to the telecommunications industry should be well equipped in their negotiations. In addition to this, joining WWLF and connecting with women who have experience in this male-dominated field is a sure-fire way to position yourself for success as you join a new company.