Negotiating Salary


14 years ago when we founded Isolta, we faced more challenges than expected. Learning step by step we’d love to share important tips and our little secrets in our “From founder to founder” series.

Women in particular have difficulties negotiating about fees and often sell their competencies under value. In this article, our guest author Marietta Gädeke, an expert on female leadership, writes about female negotiation tactics during fee negotiations.

Mariette Gädeke: "Female Negotiation Needs Strategy!"

Women often succumb to the fallacy: If only I work well enough, my achievements will be recognized. In school and university this is true. But when it is about work, women have a hard time to say: I want something! Trust me!

When it comes to competition, women are often confronted with questions that have not played before. How do distribute bonuses? How do I ask what I am entitled to? How do I prove I am better? How do I connect? These are some skills that few women have learned. It usually means that if women are defeated, they either hide under a shell or deal with it in an unsporting way.

Women are often less likely to have the same qualifications than men. "We make ourselves small by thinking that we are small". This is often seen in negotiations, when women underestimate their market value. They usually agree with an amount X and do not require "X Plus negotiation fee". You do not need to be a genius to know that this calculation does not add up.

Female negotiation needs strategy. But what kind? You should not deny that you are a woman and not a man! And act accordingly, making some things better or worse.

Something that I would like to give to all women who have founded a company is: Stand up for yourself! Do not make yourself smaller by thinking: "Oh, I'm just a woman. Others can do it better". No! Recognize that you can do something, and act on it! Develop the will to implement it. This can be used by women on all continents.

Marietta Gädeke is an exemplary entrepreneur, German speaking debating master and debating coach. She advises her clients on issues related to female leadership, intercultural communication and strategic empathy.

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