Salary Negotiation Workshops for Women

Wise Practice

Empowering Boston’s Women Through Salary Negotiation Workshops


After the first year of the workshops a case study was compiled and included analysis based primarily on in-depth interviews with 52 women who completed workshops.

87% identified target salaries, using objective market research to develop an appropriate compensation level
73% benchmarked their salaries, using market research to compare their pay level to similar positions
48% either negotiated increased compensation for their existing job or achieved a competitive starting salary for a new job or position
40% started conversations with their supervisors about their work and their value to their employer
29% asked for a raise in their current job
71% referred co-workers, colleagues and/or friends to AAUW Work Smart in Boston


The program is run under the direction of the AAUW and the Mayor’s Office of Women’s Advancement. Current monitoring details are not available.

About / Lessons Learned

Work Smart was launched in 2015 by the City of Boston and the American Association of University Women. The program offers free salary negotiation workshops to every woman who works or lives in Boston.

Research has shown that women either don’t negotiate or are not as successful as men when they do negotiate. It is not just up to women to negotiate their salaries to close the gender wage gap, but providing women with concrete tools to empower them to negotiate in their own authentic way is an important factor in changing the culture and closing the gap.

The program is designed to empower workshop participants, help them determine their value in the job market, and provide them with the concrete skills they need at the negotiation table.

The first year of the program reached close to 1,800 women and the goal was set to see 85,000 women in Boston complete the program by 2021. The workshop is offered in-person and online and is now offered in eight cities and states across the US.

After the first year there was a strong interest in having a more diverse cross-section of working women in Boston attend the workshops.

Demographic data on workshop participants interviewed shows that a majority of them have been white. Targeting women of color needs to be an intentional part of program delivery. Many women indicated that they learned about the workshop through professional networking groups that may not be as accessible to women of colour.

There was strong consensus among workshop completers about wanting to organize post-workshop connections and continued skill-building opportunities.

Suggestions include:
- Develop an online network of workshop completers through social media
- Provide contact information for trained career counselors
- Ask facilitators about their interest in being mentors after the workshop and provide contact information for those willing to do so
- Share stories of successful salary negotiation strategies through message boards or other safe platforms




SCALE / Level of government:


In place?


Tools & References:


The website is developed and administered by the Women Transforming Cities International Society.

Copyright * Women Friendly Cities Challenge February 2018, All rights reserved. 

Contact us:

About WFCC

Wise Practice Library

Get Involved 

Last update: August 2020

This site was designed with the
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now