Women in white-collar jobs in the US earn 82% of their male counterparts (Harvard Business Review). Even after adjusting for title, seniority, and education, a gender pay gap of 11% still exists. And unfortunately, this is true at all levels — including executives, based on our team’s experience.

In our experience, Companies do not intentionally pay female candidates less than male candidates. Every offer begins with a review of internal market data (such as compensation for the role’s manager, peers, and direct report), as well as external market data (compensation survey data, or for very top executives, the prox-reported data from peer companies). These data, along with internal business needs, and the external candidate’s compensation expectations, are used to triangulate to a fair compensation offer.

However, our experience also suggests that women often do not negotiate additional compensation as aggressively as men.

Consider this: negotiating a revised offer with a base salary $5,000 higher — for example, requesting a revised base salary of $275,000 relative to the initial offer of $270,000 — could result in compensation over the following 10 years of $150,000 or more in higher total compensation. Remember that base salaries are the key factor driving short-term and long-term incentive payouts, and a higher initial base salary is also compounded over time by annual merit increases.

Candidates who aggressively negotiate higher base salaries can dramatically affect their career lifetime earnings.

It is true that not all companies have the ability to flex on base salary. Internal equity issues may preclude the ability to offer a higher base salary. For example, pay compression between a direct report and his/her manager may establish a ceiling for a base salary. However, even in those situations, some form of additional compensation can be considered — potentially a higher bonus or LTI target, or one-time compensation such as equity, or a cash sign on bonus.

Wyndwicke Group has over 25 years of experience building and negotiating executive compensation offers. We know which elements of compensation most companies have the most ability to flex on, and which elements of compensation are more inflexible.

Let us help you negotiate higher compensation in the offer for your next role. Complete the contact form and we will reach out to schedule a complimentary 15 minute conversation to show you how we work with other female executives on their offers.