Advocacy: On Financial Literacy


Salary Negotiation Workshops For Women In Boston

In September 2015, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a five-year partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Boston Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement to offer free salary negotiation workshops for women. The workshops, called “AAUW Work Smart in Boston”, are available to every woman in the city of Boston. The goal is to train half of Boston’s working women or 85,000 women through 2021.

Three years into the city of Boston partnership, the AAUW salary negotiation workshops are just as necessary as they were in 2015. The workshops represent a small piece of a much larger puzzle in closing the gender wage gap in Boston. Both Mayor Walsh and Megan Costello, who runs the mayor’s Office for Women’s Advancement, acknowledge that the workshops will not solve systemic reasons for the gender wage gap. Especially when we look at it broken down by race/ethnicity. However, they are part of a bottom-up, self-empowerment effort. This effort aims to encourage women to know their value at work, negotiate effectively, and walk away with tools to ensure they’re earning the pay they feel they deserve.


Why are salary negotiation workshops important for women?

  • Based on today’s national pay gap, the National Women’s Law Center determined that:
    • White women would lose $418,800 over the course of a 40 yr career compared with white men
    • African American women would lose $840,040 over the course of a 40 yr career compared with white men
    • Latinas would lose $1,043,800 over the course of a 40 yr career compared with white men


Workshop Highlights

Step 1: Know The Value You Bring

  • Keep a journal of all your accomplishments throughout the year, no matter how big or how small

Step 2: Identify a Target Salary and Benefit Package

  • Go to, plug in your position title and location and look at the salary range. Use that median salary as the bottom of your target salary range and stretch 10-20%.

Step 3: Know Your Strategy

  • Always ask for 24-48 hours to think about a salary and benefits offer
  • Do your best to avoid discussing or negotiating your salary until after you have received a job offer. Brainstorm deflection responses!

Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice

  • Go to a AAUW workshop or role play with people you trust


Sign up for Fall/Winter 2018 Workshops.  


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