Baylor Women and Gender Studies hosts salary negotiation workshop

Speaker Robin Bellerby takes a question during her talk about Salary Negotiations for Women workshop. William Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist

By Monica Rodriguez | Reporter

Baylor Women and Gender Studies hosted a Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop on the fifth floor of Cashion on Thursday. The workshop is specifically designed for college students about to enter the job market and helps them learn valuable skills such as negotiating salary, improving budget and negotiation skills and ultimately improving their lifelong earning potential.

The event was promoted by the American Association for University Women whose research shows that women one year out of college are paid only 80 percent of what their male counterparts receive.

Robin Bellerby, host of the workshop, works in the architecture field and said she noticed she was not getting paid the same amount as her coworkers starting a couple of years ago. She went to her boss and asked him if he would look at her salary compared to others. The very next day, her boss informed her that she was getting a 30 percent increase in her salary.

“It’s reality, unfortunately, that women have to even fight for the right to have the same opportunities as men in the job market,” Bellerby said. “It’s important for ladies to use every resource they can to understand their worth in the job market.”

Over 30 female Baylor students and faculty attended the event. Dinner was provided at 5:30 p.m. and the presentation began at 6 p.m.

During the following two hours, each participant was given a booklet filled with different activities, examples and tips to follow along with. Hands-on exercises were also performed with each of the four “Negotiation Steps.” Attendees were encouraged to interact with each other and share their thoughts, fears and ideas on how to better themselves when it comes to succeeding in the workforce.

“The workshop altogether was very encouraging and informative,” Danbury, Conn., junior Brianna Sullivan said. “It’s important for women to learn these skills and know that it’s OK to speak up about salary and how valuable we can be in the workforce.”

Lisa Shaver, director of gender studies and associate professor in the English department, encouraged students to consider picking up a minor in women and gender studies if they enjoy discussing issues and dialogue regarding women’s rights and issues in society.

Shaver also invited attendees to become a part of the American Association for University Women (AAUW) student group on campus which is being formed in the near future. The group will encourage the empowerment of women in the Baylor community through education, philanthropy, advocacy and research.

The Start Smart Salary Negotiation Workshop opportunity will be held again for Baylor students at a later date in Spring 2018.