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Hiring managers want one thing: A salary negotiation coach’s advice to her female executive clients

Meredith Bennett-Smith writes, "I’ll never forget the first time I found out I was making less money than the equally qualified man sitting in the desk next to mine. It was frustrating, demoralizing, and confusing—I didn’t know where things had gone wrong.

For decades, American men and women were supposed to earn equal pay for equal work: In 1963, US president John F. Kennedy signed into law a pioneering piece of legislation called Equal Pay Act, designed to prevent gender-based discrimination in the workplace nationwide. Yet more than 50 years later, women and men are still not being paid equally, in part because of the way they answer one simple question: Did you negotiate your salary?

Katie Donovan, founder of Equal Pay Negotiations, is a woman employees want on their side. Based out of Boston, Donovan works to help all parties—from employee to employer to policy maker—understand the intricacies of salary negotiation and overcome bias-based pay gaps. After working at a staffing firm, an applicant tracking company and at trade associations, Donovan has observed the hiring process from all angles, and her unique blend of perspectives is eye-opening for the average job candidate.

Several factors contribute to pay inequality, but the only one you can control is what happens before the newly-inked contract is signed."


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