How to benchmark your salary - Part 1 : The Search for Data


One question we are asked most often at She Wins is ‘How do i know if I’m being underpaid?’ so we’ve put together a three part blog series to help answer that question. In part 1 - we start the search and define the perfect search criteria.

Salary negotiation can be emotional, mostly because to some extent your salary indicates how much your work and time is valued by others. But here’s the catch with the salary negotiation - employers are usually aiming to save money, so most of them are not trying to figure out your exact market value, they just want to pay you as little as they can get away with.

Unfortunately due to hundreds of years of social conditioning, women are more willing to accept this than men, mostly because as women we believe that employers know our value better than we do. This is one of the significant reasons for the gender pay gap existing. To be clear it's not the fault of women that that this happens, the burden lays at the door of business who do not realise their negotiations are biased.

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So whether you’re about to negotiate your new job package, pay rise or promotion, you better do some research to ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table. Also knowing your worth is backed by real data will not only give you confidence to ask for what you want and deserve, but it will also make you and your counterpart feel comfortable that you’re discussing something that's justified by the market.

First, let’s get the search criteria right

To do market research well, you should first set up good criteria for the search. You wouldn't want to end up comparing oranges to apples...

Here is an example of criteria you can use:

  1. Job title - because it's easy to search based on it, but might might be tricky for some companies or industries as Job titles don't always perform the same job

  2. Industry - jobs are often valued differently in various industries, so stick with the one you’re aiming for.

  3. Location - London have most likely higher salaries than Birmingham, because living in London is more expensive and HR departments know it too.

  4. Seniority - it makes a difference how much experience with a given job you have, sometimes seniority is already part of the title, but it really varies between organisations. Smaller organisations will have more seniors. ;)

  5. Skillset - because it matters what you know when it comes to compensation, some skills are more valuable in some jobs in specific industries, same skills might have little-no value in other sectors ... skills can be education, languages, specific experience etc.

We’ve even created a template for you to use in your search. Click below to access it and get searching!

Next time: the search begins!