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Women in stem, how do you know when your cheated?

Trying to become a woman in stem, what are some tips that will not get me cheated from the benefits of my work ethic compared to male counterparts. There's always been a difference in pag wages between men and women, but how I can I better prepare myself for this reality? I mean I could just be the CEO haha lol. women-in-stem stemcareers

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Kristin’s Answer

Hi Adilene,

In my view, there are two good ways to make sure that your salary is equivalent to your male coworkers that haven't been mentioned yet.

1. Ask your colleagues! While some companies attempt to prohibit you from discussing salaries with your colleagues, this is actually illegal. See this article for more details: https://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/301989789/pay-secrecy-policies-at-work-often-illegal-and-misunderstood . If you have some male work-friends in similar roles, they will usually be willing to discuss their salaries with you, and you may find yourself with some unexpected allies. If you find other women in the same boat, you have an opportunity to express the problem as a group, lending your individual voices more power.

2. Screen your employer carefully. There is good news on this front, as more employers are committing to equal pay for equal work. While finding one that values this can be tricky, they are out there in ever-increasing numbers. Adobe achieved pay equity this year (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171207005348/en/Media-Alert-Adobe-Achieves-Pay-Parity-U.S.) but they are not the only option. You might consider working for one of the companies that has signed the Equal Pay Pledge: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/12/07/fact-sheet-white-house-announces-new-commitments-equal-pay-pledge

There are more opportunities for women in tech now. Although progress has historically been slow on that front, the last few years have seen record visibility of the problem and many employers are working to fix it.

Good luck! The industry needs people like you :)

Kristin
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Rita’s Answer

Hi Adilene,

First of all, yes you can totally be a CEO!!

From my personal experience, every time when I am looking for a new job I will do some research on the company culture. On https://www.glassdoor.com/, it has all the review on your future employer. Other thing I would check is if there's some female representation in leadership group. From what I am seeing, more and more female executives are in tech companies now!

Other thing I would do is to know your worth. Check https://www.salary.com/. It would give you the salary benchmark of people with similar major and year of experience.

Hope it helps!
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Kristin’s Answer

And yes - you could absolutely be the CEO!
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Shelley’s Answer

You can rarely ever tell if you've been "cheated" without having complete salary and work transparency.

However, what you can do is research the salary for your career. Here is an article to help: https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2011/05/09/how-to-determine-what-salary-to-ask-for

You can also go through this website for articles on how to negotiate for a better salary and present your achievements for best effect.
http://www.askamanager.org/

Good luck!
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