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5 Ways For Women To Negotiate a Higher Salary

4 Mins read

Navigating your career as a woman in Nigeria can seem like a daunting task when dealing with gender discrimination and the gender wage pay gap. Recent research shows that  70% of women are living in extreme poverty. Furthermore, the gender wage gap calculator revealed that in Nigeria, a man earns 99% more than a woman. That is why it is important now more than ever for women to feel safe and empowered in the workplace, to encourage more women to apply for jobs and have a stronger sense of financial security. 

 When women can speak up and fight for their right to be paid fairly for their labour, we will begin to tackle the gender wage gap. Here are five useful tips for negotiating a higher salary as a woman in Nigeria: 


Before you begin any form of negotiation, it is crucial that you first think about what you are getting into. You may or may not be met with some pushback or even rejection; therefore, you must be mentally prepared for any possible outcome. It is wise to think about the value you bring to the company first, with whatever tasks you do that are a requirement of your job title and whatever extra tasks you pick up. Don’t just think about those tasks; also provide evidence of the positive impact and results of those actions on the company. 

When you have a solid idea of why you want a salary raise and why, you can now begin your research. Start by finding out if you are being paid appropriately, and researching what someone with similar experience and expertise is worth. Utilizing job search boards such as LinkedIn, Jobberman, MyJobMag, and Glassdoor can provide great insight for salary comparisons for someone at your level, in your job field, and across companies. Additionally, using your network and discussing with other professionals in the industry can help keep you informed on current salary trends and economic rates in general. 


Once you have conducted your research and found the appropriate amount that you would like to negotiate, the next step is to build your case. Gather all the evidence you have that demonstrates your dedication and hard work to the company and document your achievements, contributions, and additional responsibilities you have undergone. Make sure to highlight specific instances where your work has increased profit for the company and any leadership roles you had that led to a successful project. Providing solid evidence will lead to a more successful argument. Furthermore, identify and emphasize the skills that you possess, whether they are communication skills or the skills necessary for the job, either way, it is best that you indicate your importance to the company and what you bring to the table that others don’t and can’t be found elsewhere. Be prepared to discuss your current role and how you will benefit the company in the future. 


According to Alessandra Mislin, an American female professor who specializes in researching negotiation and conflict management, “Women are more persuasive and reduce the risk of backlash when they explain why what they are asking for is appropriate and justified.” Effective communication is crucial when negotiating a higher salary. Having the right tone and verbal approach while being respectful will earn you more favour when dealing with your superiors. When negotiating a higher salary, consider putting yourself in your employer’s shoes and try to imagine why they would feel inclined to give you higher pay. From their point of view, is your impact on the company felt by everyone involved? Or are you just another percentage or statistic? These are important details to consider when communicating your pitch, to be most successful. Effectively communicate your value and consider how your skills are beneficial to the company and future steps you will take to expand on this, In doing this, your employer may conclude that what you need may not be a salary increase but a promotion instead. 


Having the right mindset is key when going into negotiations. Remember to stay positive and have an open mind. Employers can tell when you are too nervous or discouraged to ask for something, which will negatively impact your chances. Confidence and the right attitude will get you a lot farther in the conversation, so do not go in with the idea that you will get rejected no matter what you say. It is important to be open-minded, even when it may seem like the conversation is not going in your favor. No matter what decision or agreement both parties come to, you must remain positive and remember that it is always possible to try again. 


It is important to remember that your boss is a person too. Upholding a healthy relationship with your employer will make you seem more trustworthy in their eyes; that way, they will be willing to give you more money. Engaging in small talk now and then while being kind and respectful will reflect how your co-workers feel about you and will improve teamwork and your overall productivity and performance. Upholding the core values that your company embodies will prop you up to be an outstanding employee, thus allowing you more leverage in the way that you negotiate your salary. 

Advocating for a higher salary as a woman might seem overwhelming due to societal norms. You never want to come across as demanding and entitled, however, you must advocate for what you are worth. It is extremely rewarding when you receive the correct value for the effort and hard work you put in. It takes a lot of dedication, thought, and confidence, but it is not impossible to achieve your career goals when you set your standards and stick to them. 

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Written by Ireyimika Ososami

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