Why Was I Offered $3,000 Less? We Both Have Parallel Qualifications

Your Corporate Black Girl

Dear Nikki,

I was promoted to HR Coordinator at my company after starting as a temporary administrative assistant. Being in HR gave me access to a lot of things, the salary being one. Why was I offered $3,000 less than the previous girl? Yes, we had damn near parallel everything! When I pushed back, they stood firm. What should I do?!


Dear Recently Promoted & Slighted, 

Congrats on your promotion! Make sure you're celebrating this "win" for yourself, despite your feelings about this situation...

Wage gaps are very real. Companies look at different factors, even for seemingly comparable applicants, to determine an offer/pricetag.  

"Damn near parallel" What were the differences?

Did he/she have any kids? 
Was he/she married? 
Did he/she have any more experience than you? Certifications? 
Licenses in the field? 
Was he/she older than you?

I hate to ask this but it's real... was he/she white?

It shouldn't matter but since it sounds like you both have about the same qualifications, I'm wondering if race plays a part in this or not.
How did you push back?

If you've already signed an offer letter, it's too late to negotiate your salary. 

Did you give reasons for the need to come in higher? They offered you what they offered you, hopefully, because that amount is within the "pay band" for your role. But what did you come back with as reason to offer you more?

Considering the fact that you're currently an entry level employee, take the job. Work that job and gain as much experience as you can. Ultimately, $3000 is not a substantial difference to stop your progress. We're talking about an extra $1.44 an hour. Which, depending on how you look at it, is nominal. Now, if they were offering the last applicant $10k+ more than you, than you know you need to start looking for another job. Take this as an opportunity to too at this with a glass-half-full moment in your life, because that's what this (and many more moments will be), a moment in time. 

Don't be distracted or disappointed by this - yes, it will be hard for now but just know this isn't enough to stop you. Use this company up to gain as much experience as you can. Learn the ropes. Get better. Focus on growing in your career.  Eventually, you'll be able to take your skills somewhere else and be able to really negotiate your way in.

Keep your head up & keep pushing!

You've got this,

Nikki Davis 

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Your curly girl manager, just trying to live her happiest life! 

Wife, new mom, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. with 11 years industry experience, 6 years of management experience. Manager a team of men in a male dominant industry, while being the only woman on the team. DIY fashion blogger, a self taught seamstress. Owner/Creator of a monthly subscription service, SewConscious.com

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