Are Women Lousy Salary Negotiators?

A lot of females seem to think they could be better at asking for a raise.

A lot of females seem to think they could be better at asking for a raise.
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[Read: Tips for Perfecting Gentle Salary Negotiation.]

Don't negotiate for yourself. If you feel as if you aren't worth it (and, yes, you are), then try the following mind trick: Negotiate on behalf of your spouse, your kids or future children. Pinkley offers advice for women gunning for their first job out of college, although it's relevant for anyone: "Even if you aren't single, you won't always be, in all probability, and every salary after this one will build on that first salary, so your first salary has major implications throughout your life."

She says that if you don't negotiate for more money, and someone else gets your position and 7 percent more money, "that can translate into hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime – and out of the mouths of your future children. You also are almost never negotiating on behalf of just you but your peers. If you make more, they'll benefit, too."

How so? Pinkley points out that if you're making more, your salary will likely be more of the norm for future hires – and your colleagues when they request for a raise.

Don't be afraid to make things personal (a little). Men tend to make more money than their female counterparts. On average, women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man makes one year after graduation, according to a 2013 report from the American Association of University Women, which based its findings on data from a Department of Education survey of 15,000 graduates in 2009. The report concluded possible reasons for the difference may be that women don't negotiate as much as men and cultural bias creates a situation in which a man is perceived to be the breadwinner who needs to provide for his family, so the employer kicks in a little more.

[Read: Are Women Still Falling Short of Men's Earning Power?]

But according to recent U.S. census records, four in 10 kids live in a home where a woman's income is the primary source of revenue.

Until employers get the memo, O'Kelly says there's nothing wrong with an employer knowing that you have two kids and a mother-in-law to support, or whatever your situation is. But if you put it out there, in hopes of helping make your case that you need more money, that information should be as gently worked into the conversation organically. If you plant the seed that your financial commitments to your family are right on par with everyone else's, the employer may work your personal situation into the salary equation – not that a boss will likely ever tell you that.

That said, touch this topic with care.

"You don't want to start sharing your whole sob story because, in reality, it isn't their problem," O'Kelly says. "The bulk of the reason why someone should give you a raise is that you're either not making what the market rate is, in which case, you need to get an adjustment, or you're doing a great job, and you're going to get a merit increase. At the end of the day, it comes down to how you're performing and what the job is worth."