Squeezing out the gender #wagegap

Squeezing out the gender #wagegap

Yes, there’s a gender wage gap and yes, it’s prevalent in the veterinary world. What’s there to do? These CVC experts have a few tricks up their sleeves.
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May 19, 2017

Photo: Getty Images. In today’s veterinary world—one predominantly run by women—there are plenty of rising concerns. One of those, which applies to all working women (not just those in the veterinary field) is the wage gap.

At a recent CVC conference, three veterinarians—practice owner Karen Bradley, DVM, vice president of veterinary quality for Banfield Pet Hospital Kimberly-Ann Thierren, DVM, and regular dvm360 contributor Sarah Wooten, DVM—shared their top advice for confronting the problem head-on in their session titles, “Squeezing out the gender #wagegap,” which was organized in part by the Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative (WVLDI).

Make a good first impression

It’s all about that first meeting and job interview, said Dr. Thierren. Every job applicant, male or female, needs a firm handshake, good eye contact and confident posture. She even paused to check out attendees’ skills with these first-impression-makers.  

“You can’t have your head down,” Dr. Thierren told attendees. “I need a firm handshake. And posture—do you want [the job]? Show confidence.”

Make that money

Dr. Thierren also admitted that, like many, she was just glad to have her first job and didn’t negotiate her salary. When she was promoted to medical director for the first time at a veterinary hospital, she was so surprised to be picked out of the 13 candidates that she took the promotion without a salary bump.

Dr. Wooten said she felt the same way when she got her first associate job out of school. Now, she negotiates. (Full disclosure: I know she negotiates, because she just negotiated with me about money for her contributions to dvm360.com, Firstline and Vetted).

Wooten’s power tips on negotiating for a higher salary? She’s so glad you asked.

> Let the employer tell you the salary first. Have you tried this yet?

> Try “the flinch.” Repeat the salary back and wait. Doing so could put you in the power position.

> Be ready to counteroffer. Wooten shared that in one study, more than 40 percent of men offered a job counteroffered for more money, while only 30 percent of women kept the negotiation going.

> Negotiate added benefits. Whether you did or didn’t get more money, now’s the time to ask for extra benefits—special hours, more vacation time, paid CE, whatever.

For more tips from WVLDI and other content on veterinary salaries and the #wagegap, see the related links below.