We’ve covered a lot of material in this module. It might feel like this is all just distant, far away stuff but if you’re going to enter the workforce this material should have you feeling a little big angry or disappointed. Take a moment and think back through what we’ve learned in this module — how some professions are gender segregated, how women will likely earn less than men, etc — and think about how that might actually affect your life. Many of us will never think about this until a situation arises, like the one Penelope faced when she learned that Scott earned more money than she did even though they both held the same job.
As we saw in One Day at a Time, the way that people ask for, negotiate, or accept salary offers can be connected to sex and gender. We also know that this can be connected to race and other identities. In the ODAAT episode we learned that Penelope didn’t even think to negotiate her salary. Why not? We learned that Penelope’s coworker, Scott, asked for more starting salary and got it. Why? Is Scott just “naturally” more assertive? Is Penelope just “naturally” more passive? We know from class that those sorts of explanations that focus on individuals are usually not giving us the full story. The common link between Penelope and Scott is their employer, Dr. Berkowitz. Why does Dr. Berkowitz pay Penelope and Scott different salaries for the same job? Is Dr. Berkowitz flat out sexist or racist? Maybe. But again, a focus solely on individuals overlooks systemic (that means, larger than just me or just you but embedded in our culture, in our language, in the way we see people of different genders, sexes, races, etc). The way Scott and Penelope experience gender (and race and class), they way they were socialized and policed into experience gender in these ways… All of this plays a part.
It’s pretty hard to just change gender norms, but one way to start is through knowledge and sharing of knowledge — and that’s what this assignment is about.
1. Google the following: “salary negotiation” along with one of your own identities (gender, sex, race, etc) — e.g., women, African-American, transgender, white, or even a combination of these like “African-American women.” If you are uncomfortable using one of your identities, you may choose other identities. What results come up? Click a few and scan them. What statistics do they discuss? What particular challenges do they discuss? What tips do they give? (HINT: If you are only getting general “How to Negotiate Salary” results that don’t discuss race, class, sex, etc, then redo your search and make sure you are adding an identity.)
2. Now drawing from these resources create an infographic that includes the following: (a) a title along with your name; (b) a very brief statement of the topic so that anyone off the street could look at your submission and know exactly what it’s about; and (c) three to five tips to address the issue and to help someone of (fill in the blank with one or more identities) better position themselves to ask for and negotiate salary. You must cite your sources by including at least a weblink.
REMEMBER: The visual presentation counts! See some examples below.
You’ll want to embed your infographic or graphic organizer rather than attaching it. That usually only works if you save it as an image (jpeg, png, screenshot, etc) rather than as a .pdf. Here’s a quick and easy guide to how to do that on Canvas:
Why we’re doing this assignment
This assignment is meant to connect our course materials to our actual, lived lives. An infographic presents information in ways that appealing to the eye and easily digestible to the brain. I’ve attached samples, but you can also Google “what is an infographic” or “what is a graphic organizer” to learn more. This assignment is designed to do three things: (1) hone your ability to make and support critical choices from among many options; (2) help you consider the ways in which the “how” information is presented can affect how people respond to and understand it; and (3) learn to present information in ways that go beyond traditional essays and papers.
Here are some tips and examples to guide you
For your assignment you can use Piktochart, Canva, Venngage, Creately, or any other website/program that allows you to create an infographic or graphic organizer. Most are free or have 30-day free trial periods. You can also create one on your own in Word or other standard programs. Make sure there is a good balance of words and visuals in your final product. Too many pictures and it’s just a photo collage; too many words and it loses visual appeal. Try to be neat and organized. Ask yourself, “Is this something that would catch my eye?” I’ve attached some samples that I myself have created. (NOTE: Mine are for entirely different purposes; I’m just posting them so you can see what an infographic looks like.)