When it comes to our salary, how do we know if we are paid fairly? Negotiation is an essential skill, but many women still do not negotiate their salaries. Leading into the August Speaker Series, we caught up with our featured speaker, Lauren Hasson. Lauren will be sharing her impactful story along with strategies to become a more successful negotiator so you can get paid what you deserve. Don’t forget to RSVP for the Speaker Series happening on August 15th, and then register for Lauren’s free webinar here!
Question: What is something unique about you that we won’t read in your bio?
Answer: I’m a women in tech attrition number! Even though I got into tech early in high school, completed undergraduate degrees in computer science and engineering, and am in tech now, I took a seven year hiatus from tech after undergrad. I had some less-than-interesting college internships that led me to believe working in tech wasn’t for me so I pursued a career in investment banking and entrepreneurship. And, after helping my younger sister debug some code over a holiday break seven years ago, I realized my heart really was in tech and that’s when I made the leap to get back into tech!
Question: You have said your mission is to bridge the gender pay gap, but many say it will be 100 years before that happens. What can be done now to shorten that timeframe?
Answer: I focus on progress and every woman who learns to negotiate for the salary they deserve and every woman who steps up and earns what she’s worth gets us one negotiation closer to bridging that gap. That’s why I say “one woman, one negotiation at a time.” I literally celebrate every DevelopHer’s win. It never gets old. I’ve had women show up to hear me speak skeptical that they can get change in their own lives who have stepped up, said “YES” to themselves, invested in learning to negotiate, and achieved amazing results. Women are truly surprising themselves as to what they can accomplish. They’re earning $30K, $65K, and even $80K more a year. THAT is progress and THAT is bridging the gender pay gap and I couldn’t be more proud of these women because they didn’t wait for someone else to do it for them, they stepped up, owned their outcome, and got the change they wanted in their lives for themselves! If we focus on the whole gap, we miss that we have wins all along the way and every woman who earns what’s she’s worth is a win in my book!
Question: To close the wage gap, what advice to have to women when trying to support and empower other women?
Answer: When you achieve results in your own career, turn around and pull another woman up. When I stepped out (completely terrified!), learned to negotiate, and tripled my salary, I didn’t just pat myself on the back and tell myself good job. I turned around and said “what can I do to empower other women and pull them up too?” That’s exactly why I founded DevelopHer. I invested thousands and thousands of dollars in personal consultants and resources to learn to negotiate and I realize not every woman can do this for herself. (Honestly, I couldn’t afford to do it for myself either but I maxed out credit cards because I was more afraid of what would happen to me if I didn’t!) I founded DevelopHer to make learning to negotiate and developing the career you deserve both affordable and accessible so any woman can step up, invest in herself, and get meaningful change in her life!
Question: What are you most proud of since launching DevelopHer?
Answer: I’m most proud of the amazing results real women are getting in their lives. I did a pilot of my new negotiation course last spring and the results just blew me away. Women were able to negotiate salary increases of $30K, $65K, and $80K!! One woman was even able to double her salary with the framework! When I speak and share my personal story, I often hear women say “that’s great that you could do this, Lauren, but I don’t know about me.” And, the proof is in the pudding. It’s not just me who has achieved amazing results with DevelopHer’s negotiation framework. Real women who have seen me speak and then invested in the course have also stepped up and achieved amazing results for themselves. I’m not just talking about making a dent in the gender pay gap, I’m actually doing it. Just out of the gates, the additional income women are earning in total is in the high six figures – and I’m just getting started! That is what I’m most proud of!
Question: What is the most common reason women will sign up for your program?
Answer: Women sign up for the course because they don’t want to spend years to figure this out on their own or spend thousands of dollars to get results. Women who step up and invest in the program are ready for results and want someone who has been there, figured it out, and achieved results to show them the way. They want a tried and tested framework to follow. And that’s exactly what I developed!
Question: What tips do you have for someone looking to manage a full-time job and side business?
Answer: Make sure you take time to take care of yourself. I can only serve women through DevelopHer if I take care of myself. A lot of people think I have funding for DevelopHer and do this full-time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe in DevelopHer and the program so much that I work full-time to fund the company. By day, I’m an actual tech woman – I write code for a Bay Area fintech and am on the frontlines of security for the company too. Fortunately, I work remotely which enables me to travel the country to speak to women. So, for me, it’s all about pacing myself and making sure to take time out to take care of myself.
Question: What advice do you have for someone wanting to be a professional public speaker? How did you develop the skill of speaking so engagingly in front of groups?
Answer: First, thank you for that compliment! I’m able to speak because I’ve invested countless hours into practicing and developing my talks. It’s hard work but the end result is worth it. To peel back the curtain a bit, I actually had to fall flat on my face twelve years ago in order to really step up now. Back then, I was invited to speak at a national women’s college sorority leadership conference. And, I was naïve and didn’t prepare like I should have and when I took the stage, I bombed. I was so bad that one conference organizer called me up and flat out fired me. The other conference organizer told me they wanted to keep me on because I had such great advice and content but recommended I take some public speaking lessons! I was mortified! So, last year, when I landed my first talk, from the very moment I landed the talk all I did was practice day and night. And the result was I delivered a really engaging talk and connected with the audience. I haven’t looked back since!
Question: Lets say someone is considering a career switch. They have many transferable skills, but they are concerned that “starting over” would mean a pay cut. What advice would you have for them?
Answer: I know exactly what this feels like because I had to do this myself seven years ago! So I’m giving this advice as if I were talking to my former self: 1) know that you bring valuable, transferable skills to the table and find companies that value these skills because, if they value them, then you will get paid for them and 2) rephrase “starting over” and “pay cut” as “investing in new and valuable skills” for yourself. I like to give an analogy here. In order to shoot an arrow forward, sometimes you have to pull the arrow back in order to propel it forward. If you have this same mindset with your career, it helps you realize that it’s a process. I also recommend that you put parameters around any “pay cuts” you take. For example, you may take a pay cut in order to get some new, marketable skills. Put some goals and milestones around this and then stick to them. In this instance, you may take a cut to work at a company to build your portfolio and learn the new skills. If you give yourself a time period of a year to do this, then at the end of the year, you know you need to make a jump to an employer that will pay you for the new delta in your skills.
Question: Tell us about your new course?
Answer: I just launched a new online negotiation course, Become a NegotiatHer, to teach women how to negotiate their salaries and earn what they’re worth. It’s the course I wish I had had when I first learned that I was paid 50% less than a male peer. Everything I share in the course is based on years of my learning by trial-and-error what works and what doesn’t work. I invested thousands of dollars learning strategies from negotiation experts and learning on my own and have packed it all into an online, on-demand, and affordable course that any woman can afford. I’ve not only tested the framework on myself, but the framework has produced incredible results for women of all walks too. And, the icing on the cake is this: I offer a 100% money-back guarantee – if you do the work, show me your results, and the course doesn’t pay for itself then I’ll gladly give you a refund. I can do that because I know that if you follow the framework, if you do the work, you will get change in your life. I’m truly on a mission to bridge the gender pay gap one woman, one negotiation at a time and this course is accessible to every woman and available now!
Have more questions for Lauren? Come to the August Speaker Series ready to ask them!