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Tackling The Gender Pay Gap -- One Negotiation At A Time

(CBSDFW.COM) - Lauren Hasson was at the top of her game. The software engineer had won a company-wide award four times in two years. She had also been invited to the G8 Innovation Conference in the UK, when she felt she got a punch to the stomach.

She confirmed that she was underpaid when a male colleague --who she was training -- complained about his salary openly.

"Not only he was making exactly what I was making at the time, he had been hired on at 50% more than when I was at his level," she explained.

According to Hired's "State of Wage Inequality in the Workplace" report, men are offered higher salaries than women for the same role -- at the same company.

It was the motivation she needed to invest in herself. She spent thousands to learn to negotiate from the pros, and it paid off.

"I didn't just triple my salary; I earned an additional six figures," she said.

One year ago, the full-time software engineer launched Develop[Her] to teach other women in tech the secrets to her success.

On the website, women can find access to a free webinar and career development podcasts featuring interviews with other women in tech. Hasson also offers a paid negotiating course.

"As women we are conditioned that if we do good work, we will get noticed and we will get promoted. It doesn't work that way," Hasson explained.

She says her tips can benefit women in all career fields. She shared some of her secrets with CBS 11 News.

"It's not good enough to be good at what you do. People who influence your career have to know you for what you do," Hasson explained.

She recommends you start talking about what you bring to the table often. It does not have to mean bragging.

"You don't have to say 'Hey. look at me, I'm so special!' Make it a statement," she said.

It can be something as simple as mentioning how much you enjoyed a recent conference you attended or talking about the big project you just finished.

"When you do that over time, people hear the message and what you build is a reputation," she said.

One of her key tips to becoming a Negotiat[Her] is to "ground yourself in data."

"Go figure out what you're worth. Do your research, find that number, and stand firm in your value," she said.

Hasson also suggests women learn to identify leverage points to earn a premium salary.

That can include things like timing: How soon the company needs to hire someone. Is there something that is hurting the company?

She says it's important to understand that a negotiation is not a yes or no answer. It's a conversation -- prepare talking points and scripts.

"One of the most powerful things you can do, is not wing it," she said.

The software engineer says the strategies she teaches in her Negotiat[Her] course have helped women see real results in and out of tech.

Stacey Devino, an Android developer, is one of those success stories.

"I was literally putting tens of millions of dollars in their pockets and receiving zero credit," Devino said.

Then, she got a dream job offer and said thanks to this course -- she rejected the offer. It gave Devino the opportunity to negotiate for an additional $35,000 more.

These are the statistics Hasson wants women to be.

"If I can do it, everyone can do it," Hasson said.


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