Start Smart

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Women working full time in the United States typically are paid just 79 percent of what white men are paid, a gap of 21 percent — and it’s even worse for women of color. Through AAUW Start Smart and AAUW Work Smart, we are fighting to close the pay gap, one workshop at a time.

For Students

Start Smart workshops are specifically designed for college students about to enter the job market. According to AAUW’s research, women one year out of college are paid only 82 percent of what their male counterparts receive. By using the skills taught in this workshop, you are prepared to

  • Negotiate your starting salary and narrow the gap early,
  • Improve your lifelong earning potential,
  • Articulate your value,
  • Build confidence in your negotiation style,
  • Sharpen your budgeting skills.

Why Negotiation?

AAUW’s groundbreaking research on the gender pay gap shows that one year out of college, women are already earning significantly less than their male counterparts do. Even after controlling for all major factors normally associated with pay, 7 percent of this gap remains unexplained. Women who negotiate can earn higher salaries and better benefits, and these advantages add up over time. Negotiation ensures that women put a fair price on the quality of their work and sets a benchmark for future salary increases. And with fair and equitable salaries, women have an easier time paying off student loans and saving for retirement — both factors that lead to greater economic security.

About Our Workshops

AAUW’s Start Smart program is designed to empower women with the skills and confidence to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. By learning strategies and practicing effective language, participants gain valuable skills they can use throughout their lives — well beyond their next negotiation.

Our trained facilitators are uniquely qualified to guide participants through AAUW’s curriculum, which utilizes the latest research and negotiation strategies to help women navigate the complexities of job offers and promotion opportunities.

In every two-hour workshop, women can expect to learn:

  • About the gender pay gap, including its personal consequences
  • How to quantify the market value of their education, skills, and experience
  • How to conduct objective market research and determine a fair target salary
  • How to create a strategic pitch and respond to salary offers

Please check back for an upcoming 2017 Workshop near you!