Experts share salary negotiation tips at UCLA conference

Twenty Ten Talent - UCLA Conference to Advance Women in Technology

Are you happy with your salary? Did you negotiate your pay when you joined your company? Are you comfortable talking to your boss about your next raise? Do you even know where to start when it comes to making the case for what you are worth?

Money matters, and not just because of your bank balance. According to a report by the National Women’s Law Center, black women will lose more than $877,000 over a 40-year career compared to their white male counterparts. Shockingly the study also found, even with a high level of education, black women with a bachelor’s degree typically make $46,825 per year which is only $1,849 more than white men with only a high school degree.

On August 12, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) brought together 300 men and women to discuss the gender and diversity gap in the tech sector and brainstorm strategies to address the problems. UCLA’s Conference to Advance Women in Technology shared firsthand insights from industry leaders including Jonah Peretti, CEO of Buzzfeed, Jeanne Holm, Deputy CIO of the City of Los Angeles and Yolanda Mangolini, Director of Global Diversity & Inclusion at Google.

Twenty Ten Talent - Shari Slate, Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer at CISCO

As Shari Slate, Vice President and Chief Inclusion and Collaboration Officer at CISCO asserted, “there are things standing in our way to make extraordinary progress. It does matter whether or not you are in the room. That’s an important data point. Then there’s how you feel, and if you feel valued and heard. Then, are we participating in the business outcomes of the company? That last mile is the gap between are we in the room, are we welcome, respected and heard, and are we participating in the business outcomes the company cares about? We need to ask, are we delivering on the true promise and intent we always said diversity would bring to the table?”

The conference featured a standout panel discussion on negotiation strategies led by Nicole Hancock Husband, VP and Senior Employment Counsel at Warner Bros Television. While the panel took place at a tech conference, the advice applies to anyone in any industry who wants to advocate for what they are worth.

Here’s are some of the salary negotiation insights shared by the speakers:

“Studies show women negotiated 19% lower guaranteed yearly bonuses than men. Gender triggers within negotiation scenarios – such as a salary, promotion or raise discussions – leads to behaviors associated with a lower likelihood of engaging in negotiations. How does this impact you? Just a $5,000 starting salary difference generates over $500,000 lower earnings over the course of your career.”
Dr Corinne Bendersky, Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management

“Make your own formula to show your value. Don’t look in a textbook because it won’t be there. Create what works based on what you do.”
Shelley Zalis, Founder, The Girls Lounge

“I’m a trained negotiator but it’s very difficult for me to negotiate for myself. It’s very uncomfortable for me. When I’m negotiating on my behalf I take “me” out of it and approach it in a way that allows me to maximize my own potential. Do your prep work and know your value in the market. Practice your pitch. Stay positive, make the ask and ask for more than you want. Don’t fear the “no” and don’t be afraid to counter.”
Sanam Saaber, Senior Director, Legal, Box

Looking for more guidance on negotiating your salary? Check out these recent posts:

How to negotiate a promotion
7 new apps to #HackThePayGap unveiled at the White House

For more information on The UCLA Women in Tech initiative visit


Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema

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