When negotiating, focus on more than your salary. You have far more leverage negotiating other aspects of your compensation package, like stocks, a sign-on bonus, your annual bonus and a long-term incentive (a cash delivery that vests like stock options do). Think of CEOs--they often make a few hundred thousand in salary, but their stock options and other incentives can be worth millions. Once your salary reaches about $225K, rather than push for another few thousand base, get your number up in other ways.
Aspire to leadership. I wish I’d done this earlier. I aspired to be a technologist. Now, I’m the one building the business case, managing the team to deliver, and taking my hands off the keyboard. A lot of women focus on executing rather than leading, but selling yourself as a manager can make a huge difference in your paycheck.
Ask your recruiter for their compensation range. Answering the question of “what are you looking to make” can be fraught. Try answering back with a question of your own. By asking “What’s your range?” you give both the company and yourself the freedom to continue the conversation in a way that works for both of you. You can also provide range yourself of what you’d expect to make.
Stay poker-faced as you negotiate. I went through a couple rounds of salary negotiations before accepting my role. In fact, I think my new employers respected me more because I didn’t accept their first or second offer. It made me a more astute candidate. Get educated, and then stay strong!