Today is Equal Pay Day, marking the date to which a woman who started work on Jan 1 2010 would have to work in order to earn the same amount of money as a man who also started work on Jan 1 2010 but stopped working on Dec 31 2010. That's over 3 extra months, and I am not into that!
It's been known for pretty much ever that women make significantly less than men in comparable jobs, and it's also generally accepted that at least part of the discrepancy is because women simply don't negotiate as often as men do.
I like to think that I am one to stand up for myself, and with respect to my recent acceptance of a faculty position, let me just say that I negotiated THE SHIT out of my startup package (full post on this another day). I pushed hard for equipment, space, personnel, teaching reductions, and my chair accordingly pushed hard on the Dean on my behalf. In the end, I got what I think is a great startup and I absolutely can't wait to get going.
The one thing that I did not negotiate at all, though, was my salary, and I am totally kicking myself over it. Now, the salary is more than what the first institution was offering and the summer salary setup was favorable, but still, I should have at least tried. And you know why I didn't? I FELT BAD. I felt like the chair was already bending over backwards to try to get me everything I wanted and it was turning into this unprecedentedly large startup for the department, and that it would seem greedy or petty or something for me to ask for more money for myself. Seriously, WTF is wrong with me? I'm the new poster child for Women Don't Ask.
It being early spring and all, my guess is that there's a lot of negotiating going on for those of you fielding faculty offers. At least, there had better be! Ladies, do not follow my lead on this one; learn from my mistake. Look that chair in the eye and ask for an upgrade--they will not rescind their offer, the worst they can say is that it's not doable. Let's get those 3 months back, shall we?