ODU holds salary negotiation workshop on ‘Equal Pay Day’

Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-12 22:21:08-04

Norfolk, Va. - April 12th marks 'Equal Pay Day.' It's a symbolic day marking how long into 2016 it takes for women to make what men earned in 2016.

Equal Pay Day held to show gap between men’s and women’s wages

Research from the American Association of University Women shows that one year out of college, women are already earning significantly less than their male counterparts.

That's why schools across the country held salary negotiation workshops Tuesday, including Old Dominion University.

This is the sixth year that ODU's Women's Center has offered the two hour, interactive workshop.

The goal is to help women get the skills and confidence they need to negotiate.

"I think that a lot of times women aren't really familiar with how to negotiate salaries and benefit packages that really work for them but also coincide with their own value, so I'm excited to learn about that today," said Moriah Shumpert, a graduate student at ODU.

La Wanza Lett-Brewington, director of the Women's Center, says one of the most important things people need to know going into negotiations is how much the position is worth.  Websites like or can help provide that information.

Lett-Brewington says it's important not to settle when offered your first job because that salary sets the benchmark for future salary increases.

"It's important because it can be the difference between starting a job at say $40,000 or starting it at $45,000.  And if you go in and you settle for $40,000 when you could have gotten 45, you're forever going to be at least $5,000 behind anybody else who got that $45,000," said Lett-Brewington.

According to Lett-Brewington, some fields like science and technology are seeing a shift with recent female graduates actually being offered more than men, but overall there is still a wage gap.