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By Lauren Young
NEW YORK Aug 12 In an era when more women are
encouraged to help each other, talking about paychecks is more
common. But women are finding out they still earn less than men
in the same jobs.
No wonder the majority of women think they are not making
enough, according to Glamour Magazine's 2014 Salary Survey,
featured in the September issue of the magazine.
Reuters spoke to Glamour Editor-in-Chief Cindi Leive about
pay trends, negotiating tips and the quest for work-life
Edited excerpts follow.
Q: Women are more hopeful about their earning potential, but
more than half of the women you spoke to still think they are
not bringing home enough bacon. Why?
A: Women still feel underpaid, and they are right. Women
still earn only 77 cents for every dollar a man does.
Almost two-thirds of the women we surveyed think that their
salary is too low. That's still significantly better than when
we started this project 25 years ago. Back then, 77 percent of
readers felt they weren't earning enough.
It still reveals a general grouchiness among women about
their level of pay. Most women feel they could be doing a little
Q: Why is pay such a mystery?
A: For decades, talking about your salary was the third rail
of conversation. Women would talk about the spiciest details of
their sex lives and even politics before they would talk about
what they made.
Half of the women we talked to said they've told a colleague
how much they make; that's up from 29 percent last year.
The wealth of data available online has a lot to do with it:
71 percent of women know how their pay compares to those in
other jobs. It used to be you could only find that out by
tapping women on the shoulder and asking about it.
Q: Only 43 percent of women ask for raises, according to
Glamour's data. Why aren't women negotiating for better pay?
A: Probably because it is difficult and scary. Plus, people
don't know where to get started.
One main reason you should ask for a raise: it works. Of the
women who asked for a raise, three-quarters of them got one.
Asking doesn't guarantee that you will get a raise, but not
asking guarantees that you won't.
Q: What tips do you have to offer women (and men) who want
to make the business case for a bigger salary or raise?
A: Do your research. Are you worth more money? Are you
genuinely underpaid? There are many websites, including
salary.com and payscale.com, to find out.
In addition, prepare for the salary conversation. Don't show
up with just your hat in hand and expect to walk away with
$10,000 more than you had at beginning of conversation.
Bring data about what you've done for employer. Don't assume
your boss knows your career the way you know your career. You
need that memo that shows exactly what you've done, such as how
much money you've saved your company or new clients you've
Remember that your supervisor needs something she can show
to her supervisor to justify the increase.
Q: Why is "work-life balance," even if it is elusive at
times, so important for women? Do you think the same would be
true for their male counterparts?
A: When I graduated from college, it never in a million
years would have occurred to me to ask about work-life balance
or what a career would mean for having a family.
In our survey, 89 percent of women said flexibility and
hours were more important than salary. And more than half of
women said they'd take a pay cut.
That's one thing I admire about the generation that's in
their 20s: rather than being cynical, they are aware that
personal happiness comes first.
Q: A full 40 percent of the women you surveyed say they'd
stay at their job even if they won the lottery. What does that
say about women and work?
A: I am one of those women. Boy, wouldn't it be nice to find
out if this true?
The YOUNG BUCKS column appears monthly and at additional
times as warranted. Lauren Young tweets at
www.twitter.com/laurenyoung. Read more of her work at
(Follow us @ReutersMoney or here
Editing by Beth Pinsker and Richard Chang)