Don't just research your base

You already know information is key, and I want to stress that its so important to not only research your base salary, but also your bonus and any other pieces that are specific to your industry.

One study analyzed the starting salaries negotiated by men and women who were entering the workforce after earning their MBAs. On average, women accepted salaries that were 6 percent lower on average than those negotiated by the men. That is already pretty dramatic - but the annual bonuses negotiated was even more surprising: Women’s were 19 percent lower than men’s on average.

Gather Your Own Data

The other thing you can do is ask colleagues or peers. I used compensation data from another venture capital associate who sent a compensation survey to a google group of over 100 folks in the industry. If you’re party of an industry community on facebook or a google group or meetup, consider organizing an anonymous survey that everyone can then reuse for their own negotiations at their respective jobs.

Here is a sample google sheet form you can use to create your own survey

Do Your Market Research

Information is power in a negotiation.  The best way to make sure that you are getting paid what you are worth is by performing market research. Why?  Without data, women tend to underestimate the value of their work and ask for less.

Download the compensation Toolkit

For instance, there was a study where men and women were asked to pay themselves in a private situation what they thought was fair pay for a fixed amount of work. Without any guidance, men paid themselves 63% more on average than women. When researchers put a list of names and amounts that others had been paid, women and men didn’t have a significant gap in how much they  suggested they should get paid. So what does this mean? Women don’t value their work as inferior, we just have a difficulty accurately assessing value of our work without external reference points.

Glassdoor, PayScale, Angelist, Ladders, Buffer, and Robert half are all websites where you can search for compensation data. 

Download the compensation Toolkit