Women@work… continuing the conversation… know what you’re worth

Do you know what you’re worth? This isn’t a gender specific question, however, former Co-chairman of Sony Pictures, Amy Pascal believes women should know their value and set realistic salary expectations.

During an interview with journalist Tina Brown at the ‘Women in the World’ conference in San Francisco on February 11, Ms. Pascal described the Hollywood culture, and addressed the criticism she received when the studios’ data was hacked, revealing the salaries of female actors was lower than the compensation of male actors.

“Here’s the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and say, ‘Can I give you some more?’ Because that’s not what you do when you run a business. The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs. … People should know what they’re worth.”

There continues to be a discrepancy in salaries between men and women. Employers have a role to ensure equity, while at the same time returning a profit to share owners.

And each of us is a ‘free agent’ with a set of skills and competencies that have a market value. That may sound blunt, but we ‘own’ this issue and we have a choice to accept an offer or walk away.

You don’t know what you’re worth? Time to get busy on your research. Take out that resume and assess your experience. What is your core skill set? What is unique about what you have to offer? Who are the employers willing to pay for your expertise?

Think like an entrepreneur. What is the valuation you place on ‘organization you’? Who is willing to make a fair ‘investment’ offer?

Salaries may be the last ‘best kept secret’ of the workplace. And this is where you have to disconnect from your virtual world and go out and have some one on one conversations. Learning about how compensation is defined and determined is a ‘before the offer’ activity.

Success at work is less about salary than finding a culture where you can flourish. But if you find a job you love and later learn you are not paid equally, your attitude will erode over time and that will not be a good thing for your career.

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