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$tart $mart Workshops to Tackle Gender Pay Gap
Campus Program Provides Salary Negotiation Training for Women
WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the WAGE Project will provide $tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshops throughout the 2011–12 academic year to prepare college women to negotiate for salaries and benefits as they enter the job market. There are currently more than 40 workshops scheduled across the country.
$tart $mart Salary Negotiation Workshops, piloted by WAGE in 2007 and 2008, are presented by trained facilitators to provide young women with a tool to combat the gender pay gap. AAUW’s own research shows that just one year out of college, women earn only 80 percent as much as their male counterparts earn. The pay gap continues to grow from there. $tart $mart helps to ensure that graduating women know how to negotiate for equitable pay and appropriate benefits for both their short- and long-term economic security.
“In this period of increasing job insecurity and economic uncertainty, programs that set women up for continuing success are more necessary now than ever before,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “Women are frequently discriminated against in their pay, and they need to be empowered to ask for what they so rightly deserve. AAUW aims to do just that — empower women through education and training.”
“Over the last two academic years, the partnership between the WAGE Project and AAUW has already enabled thousands of young women on campuses all over the country to participate in $tart $mart workshops. These women not only learned how to determine the salary they should seek when starting a career after graduation but also developed confidence that they can get paid what they are worth,” said WAGE Project President Evelyn Murphy. “We believe that this workshop will help young women college graduates lead the way in eliminating the age-old gender wage gap. We hope that all colleges and universities in America will offer $tart $mart on their campus this year.”
$tart $mart workshops are free for student participants, who receive information on how to negotiate better starting salaries and benefits and then practice these skills through role-playing exercises. Workshop topics include how the gender pay gap affects women’s earnings over a lifetime, how to develop a budget and know one’s bottom line, and how to benchmark salaries and benefits.
“The job search after graduation can be intimidating, and without the right knowledge, young women can easily fall into the grasp of the wage gap,” said Abby Lemay, a case manager at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida and an alumna of both $tart $mart and AAUW’s Student Advisory Council. “Attending $tart $mart on my campus last year showed me not only how to negotiate for the right salary but also how to research wages and budget properly, and it gave me the confidence I needed to land a job I really love. $tart $mart taught me what I’m worth — something every woman needs to know.”
$tart $mart and other AAUW leadership programs are funded in part by the generous contributions of AAUW members.