She Talks Asia is a movement that communicates with their audience through conferences and different social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and their website. With a team of powerful female leaders and guest speakers, they are able to spark conversations and educate people to understand various topics that are considered taboo on the dining table.
Last July 13, the talk was entitled Negotiating Your Worth, a topic that resonates very much with the motive of Bumble Bizz. As you may know, Bumble is an app that provides instant accessibility to networking, whether for dating, finding friends, or building a career. Bumble Bizz is a safe space where women can connect, network, and potentially build a successful career by making the first move. Thus, giving us women the advantage for a change because as we’re all aware, corporate businesses have been overrun by male dominancy for far too long and inequality was in close route to becoming a societal norm.
For starters, the floor was opened by the moderator Lynn Pinugu who shook the audience when she mentioned–“here in the Philippines, for every one hundred pesos that a man earns, a woman only earns seventy five pesos for the same quality and job description.” Why is this important to note? It’s because women are actually part of the dilemma. The change begins with us. It’s not about degrading the superior but rather conferring for equality. Studies show that women would most likely prefer to accept a lower wage given just because women get anxious when talking about money.
Guest speakers Arianne Serafico, Maxine Casaclang, Pam Begre, and Liz Lanuzo sat down to casually discuss how women can negotiate their worth—and not just about money!
Thirty women of different ages and fields who shared their hustle story were specifically chosen to join the event. It was a safe space where women could share anecdotes and exchange advice. With the guidance of the knowledgeable guest speakers, there was a lot to take away.
Here’s a list of things you ought to know:
1. Being emotional isn’t a sin.
Based on She Talks Asia’s past reoccurring themes during the Women’s Month last March, Lynn pointed out that “women have the tendency to be overly emotional because we equate the number we see with our self-worth, which is incorrect.” No one can put an amount on your self-worth.
Correlating to this week’s talk, when it comes to asking for a raise or a promotion, usually shame gets in the way. Don’t neglect your emotions! Pam gave very wise advice when she said, “I remove shame from the table and bring two emotions, which are enthusiasm and empathy” to initiate a better understanding between employer and employee or clients.
2. There’s no shame in having a price.
"I place value on those who really know what their rates are because it shows me your worth, what your goals are and that you have a clear vision of what you want to do," says Maxine.
Bring confidence along with your rates, it definitely impresses the interviewer. However, don’t just show up with a specific rate without presenting your skills. You should enter knowing your self-worth and ensure you come out with a fair value exchange. Present your unique traits and options to gain credibility that'll back up your monetary statements.
If you’re anxious about having a price for your work because you have nowhere to start, “benchmarking” is the way to go according to both Arianne and Liz. You can benchmark rates by asking peers or family members who are in similar fields. It’s quite a sensitive topic to ask someone how much their salary is, but it is possible by “ask[ing] people who you’re close to, people you have relationships with who’d understand your predicament,” explains Liz.
3. It’s not just about money.
When evaluating your offer, realize that there’s more than one currency. Money isn’t the only thing to be considered. Ask yourself if this offer will strengthen your credibility, add to your experience, and broaden your network.
Take a good look at your opportunities. The panel agreed that money is a big part of the job, but the “company culture” matters, too. The company you choose should be able to help you grow and improve. This goes for both fresh graduate newbies as well as those with experience. If you feel that the job offer is less than what you’re equipped for, then negotiate your terms.
4. Rejection isn’t the end.
"Before coming into a meeting or an interview, you should already evaluate your bottomline, so you have room to negotiate for yourself and the person you’re talking to. More often than not, it’s a no, but if it’s a sure yes, there’s more wiggle room. Expect the worst but hope for the best, then at least you already have a number for another time," Arianne notes.
Most of the time, when a client or a company rejects your request, it’s because they genuinely can’t afford to hand it to you. As host Lynn says, “See the other person as a person and not a transaction.” It is possible to renegotiate; it’s not over yet. Negotiating is something we can master overtime with experience and practice. At least you’ve already placed your foot at the door!
At the end of the conference, Bianca Gonzales shared a New York Times article by Kristin Wong—“A Woman’s Guide to Salary Negotiation”—to serve as a good review to look back on. Overall, the She Talks Asia X Bumble Bizz was an enlightening experience shared among a tribe of women who are ready to change corporate standards.