Workshop by Career Center and International Affairs encourages students to negotiate for a better salary

The Career Center and International Affairs hosted Negotiating Your Salary & The Gender Pay Gap in celebration of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., in the Career Center. The workshop was focused on helping students grow their negotiation skills, evaluate job offers and included information about the gender pay gap. 

Kristen Roberts, the career center specialist of social sciences and host of the event, suggested that students create a “wish list” of items they would want in a job offer. After, she displayed a PowerPoint presentation with a sample job offer letter and explained how it was important that one negotiate each section. She stated that a prospective employee can negotiate for a different job title or start date than is stated on the offer letter. She said that while most people only know to negotiate for a better salary, there are many different perks outside of that that can benefit the employee. Roberts explained that employers are open to discussing relocation expenses, flexible hours, sign-on bonuses, tuition reimbursements and more. She stated, “Like if you’re a nurse who gets a job offer in the middle of nowhere North Dakota, employers might be like ‘Hey, here’s a bonus because we really need good people out here.’”

Nor Akmaliza Rais, a doctoral candidate in chemical and environmental engineering asked whether students were looked down upon if they negotiated during the interview process. Roberts stated that it all depended on how a student approached the process. She also said that jobs in which the applicant doesn’t stand out, entry level jobs, highly structured jobs like the military and jobs with a known salary were not jobs that were open to negotiating. 

Courtesy of UCR Career Center

A portion of the presentation was dedicated to some of the reasons behind the gender pay gap, which include occupational segregation, gender bias and application confidence bias. Roberts said, “Men will apply to a position if they meet half of the qualifications, whereas women will apply only if they meet 75%.” 

In an interview with The Highlander, Roberts stated that the aim of the workshop was to help students, whether they were male or female, to feel empowered during the negotiation process. “A lot of students are nervous about negotiations and feel like they are not worthy. These skills will make them know they can and they will feel comfortable,” Roberts said.

Rais stated that these Career Center workshops are very helpful, especially as an international student. “Now that I am interviewing, the process is very different from Malaysia and this is an important skill for me,” she said. 

Students who attended the event were also given the opportunity to take a professional headshot at the Career Center on Friday, March 6 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

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