Trident | August 26, 2019

In partnership with the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Tri Delta is boldly leading the way in addressing the important issues of gender equity and barriers women face in the workplace. One issue of particular significance is the gender pay gap. “What we know is that women are still making 75-80% of the wages earned by our male counterparts in the same roles,” said Tri Delta CEO Karen Hughes White, Georgia. “AAUW Work Smart empowers women with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate their salaries and benefits.”

The two-hour workshop allows attendees to gain confidence in their negotiation style through facilitated discussion and role-play to learn:

  • How to identify and articulate their personal value
  • How to develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other negotiation strategies, including how to get a raise or promotion
  • How to conduct objective market research to benchmark a target salary and benefits
  • About the wage gap, including its long-term consequences

For the Chicago Loop Group, Work Smart was the ideal opportunity to provide professional development programming to area alumnae. The event was held on a weekday evening at the Evanston Arts Center and was facilitated by Allison Lackey Peschel, Millikin.

Although the Chicago Loop Group hosted the event, several alumnae attended from area chapters, including the North Shore/Glenbrook Alumnae Chapter and the Chicago NW Suburban Alumnae Chapter, as well as area alumnae who are not affiliated with a chapter. It was the perfect opportunity for Tri Delta alumnae to network and connect.

Another bonus was the wide range of women who attended, all of whom benefited from the workshop, no matter their career stage or experience. As women, it’s common to take time away from one’s career to raise children, or care for an ailing partner or parent. Stepping back into the workforce can be intimidating. According to Peri Osako, Arizona, a few alumnae who found themselves in similar positions benefited from the workshop and from knowing they aren’t alone in their journey.

As for Peri herself, she found the resume-building aspect of the workshop particularly useful. “Being able to quantify our own successes and transfer our volunteerism and leadership experience onto our resume was helpful. We all do so much in our alumnae chapters, but we don’t always think of it as being work-related even though we’re building great skills.”

As a facilitator, Allison said her biggest takeaway from the workshop was learning that, at present, it will take 217 years for the gender pay gap to close. “I’m so proud that Tri Delta is committed to making this issue a priority so that our daughters (and sons!) can see the gender pay gap close,” she said. “We know our country is stronger, our resources more powerful, and our impact greater when we all work together toward this common goal. I loved how the program offered a proven process with tangible steps to know how to navigate these negotiation conversations.”

In addition to personally benefiting individual attendees, the workshop also benefited the overall Chicago Loop Group alumnae by providing the chapter with more variety in terms of the programming it offers members. According to Peri, “Our group tends to be more social, but it was nice to have an event that was more professional, and it was nice to have other women attend from other chapters.”

Several other alumnae chapters will also be hosting AAUW Work Smart workshops: St. Louis, Missouri; Mt. Diablo, California; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; Houston, Texas; Tyler, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Toronto, Ontario.

The Wichita Alumnae Chapter held its event on May 30 at the Downtown Wichita Innovation Center. Work Smart was well-received by its members. “The new information presented to me at the workshop was very beneficial,” shared Amanda Vanausdall, Wichita State. “My largest takeaways were the tools to be well informed and prepared in all steps of job and salary negotiations. I feel confident that the next time I am in a situation to negotiate my salary and benefits I will be more than ready.”

She adds, “The workshop was a great way to bring together a group of women, not only Tri Delta alumnae, but many high achieving women from the community. I think the message of empowering women through education is a great step to closing the gender pay gap. This is an issue that doesn’t just affect Tri Delta women, but all women.” For information on how to host an AAUW Work Smart workshop for your community or chapter, contact Director of Alumnae Experience Erika Beatty.


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