Why must women prepare so diligently to talk about money? Because if you do not actively negotiate for your salary, you are very likely to earn less than you deserve. Women do not negotiate salaries as aggressively as men, and men are more likely than women to leave practices because of salary issues (Achkar, 2008.) Although we want to be paid fairly for the work that we do, we are often unprepared to talk about money. Even worse, we are uncomfortable talking about money. We expect to be paid fairly without discussion.
Knowing that salary inequities are common, we would suggest being upfront in your financial negotiations from the start. You might say to your prospective employer, “I have put a lot of thought into the issue of a fair and appropriate salary for this job, and I have researched it well. Let me show you (while handing him or her a paper delineating your research and thoughts) what I have come up with.” Your prospective employer might respond with, “That is quite a bit more than I was expecting.” This is where it can get tricky. Negotiation skills are key, and it helps to have practiced. Your ideal response might be: “I understand, but I assure you that my research regarding payment for similar work in this area of the country for this type of job is current and accurate. I am a hard worker and know that you will not be disappointed.”