In the hot Toronto tech employment market, one topic that’s on the mind of many in tech is salary negotiations. This week, ExploreTechTO, a local Meetup, held a panel discussion on this timely topic. The gathering was a mixed group of men and women, with a number of women expressing interest in this topic.

Statistically, women don’t negotiate as often as men. In a well-known study from Carnegie Mellon, men were 8 times more likely to negotiate than women, as reported on womendontask.com. In my experience, introverted men which can be a characteristic of many software developers also don’t ask or don’t feel as comfortable with negotiation.

The discussion was hosted at TribalScale, with the panel moderated by Alexis Clarfield-Henry, Director of Marketing & Communications at Unata. On the panel with me was Nora Jenkins, Director of People Operations at Wealthsimple and Corey Reid Co-Founder of Upspark consulting.

Some of the key questions tackled included salary negotiations at the time of hiring, asking for a raise and the manager’s perspective.

Audience members were encouraged to engage with the panel by writing their questions on clipboards circulated by the meetup organizers, Dileshni Jayasinghe, a platform engineer with Unata, and Ania Halliop, Dev Manager at Freshbooks. The format made for a relevant discussion while giving some measure of anonymity for a sensitive topic area.

Key takeaways from the discussion 

  • A common misconception in negotiations is for the employee to perceive the employer has all the power in the negotiation, but if the employee is a good fit for the position, then both the employer and the employee want the same outcome.
  • Remember that managers and human resources professionals are humans in the negotiation.
  • Prepare yourself for negotiations by being clear of the outcome you want and why that’s important to you and thinking about what the employer wants.
  • Look at compensation as the total package including vacations, benefits and bonuses, not just the salary.
  • Do your homework before negotiations by knowing what your market value is, check out online resources like the new LinkedIn salary info, Payscale or Glassdoor. But in a hot employment market like Toronto tech, keeping informed through your network is critical.

For more details, or if you missed the event, you can watch the video here:

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Cheryl Sylvester
Cheryl Sylvester is a Leadership Coach, Brand Communications consultant and W100 Business Owner. A perpetual idea generator, entrepreneurship cheerleader, and wanna-be geek, her clients include Novell, PlateSpin, Mozilla, HP, Tenscores & Polar. She writes about Leadership, Communications, Entrepreneurship and Women in technology.