More Black Women Head Households—These Expert Tips Help Them Earn

More than half of all Black households are led by women. Learning how to negotiate their salaries in spite of the gender pay gap can be game-changing, according to career growth strategist Isi Aladejobi.

Woman Negotiating salary during interview
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Over the last thirty years, more women have been heading households.

Marriage rates in the US have declined, and single women heading households increased from 17.6 percent to 22.6 percent in twenty years, according to the Washington Post. Even in two-income households, women as increasingly taking the lead. Black women lead all categories, with 52.5 percent heading households

However, Black women especially have gotten the short end of the stick. They are paid 42% less than white men and 21% less than white women. Black women are paid 0.58 cents for every $1.00 paid to a white man and 0.73 cents paid to a white woman. Equal pay is an issue that affects all of our families.

"Know that you're worthy and deserve a six-fire plus salary. You have to have the mindset of someone who receives and earns a six-figure salary," says Isi Aladejobi, who runs a community of 40,000 professional Black women who are landing better jobs and increasing their salaries. Aladejobi has helped Black women increase their salaries to the tune of $1.8 million.

"Something happens in a woman when she comes to a relationship and feels like she's an asset, not a liability. Having money come into your family and having your own money feels powerful. You tell yourself a different story that you're bringing something incredible to the table," says Aladejobi.

Aladejobi is a high-achiever who thought she wanted to be a doctor at one point. It took some life experiences to realize her calling was to give Black women strategic advice on how to land their dream jobs and increase their salaries. 

Aladejobi worked for large education and accounting firms and saw firsthand what works and what is a waste of time —that's what she teaches her clients and community members.

Here are five things Black women can do to get better jobs, increase salaries, and get paid in line with their value.

01 of 05

Get your mind right.

She says the first step is to get your mind right by understanding the importance of making your own money and knowing that you're worthy and deserve it. Visualizing being successful and well-paid sets your mind not to accept less. 

"Even in a super healthy, happy marriage, it's important to have that sense of self-insecurity. Knowing you can do what you need to do for your family, others, and your children, there's nothing more powerful than that, and it feeds your confidence. It feeds your joy and does something for your identity and self-esteem." says Aladejobi.

02 of 05

Do extensive research on how much you could be making.

Aladejobi says the number one reason women leave copious amounts of money on the table is that they haven't researched the possible salary ranges in their industry. You have to know what you could be making at the top range and what's the bottom number.

  • Speak to people currently in the roles, and hire higher-level managers. 
  • Speak to recruiters who recruit for the roles.
  • Use your salary.com, Glassdoor, and other online resources. 

You want at least seven data points that inform you of what's possible around the total compensation package (bonuses). 

03 of 05

Never leave an interview without understanding the salary.

A phone interview and screening with human resources are the first steps, so you never want to leave those sessions without knowing the salary for the role you’re applying for. Aladejobi says to ask the person you're speaking to about the budgeted salary for the position, and the goal is for them to talk first.

Even if that person doesn't share all of the information you’re looking for, you should have the salary ranges from researching and making your desired number known on the call.

04 of 05

Think about whether the role is worth it.

Research and the screening call should provide the information you need to decide what's best for you.

Consider the total compensation package when considering a new job or potential raise. Think about the base salary, bonuses, investment opportunities (401k, etc.), healthcare, and other perks. Make a decision based not just on pay but the overall options the job or promotion could provide.

One way to make more money is to determine if an opportunity is worth your time and value. Only pursue the jobs that are.

05 of 05

Never accept an offer immediately. Negotiate on the phone.

Aladejobi says that when you get your offer letter, tell the company you need a few days to read it over and decide—never accept immediately. Quick offers and rash responses aren't always the best decisions and can lead to money being left on the table.

When it's time to lock in the job or salary increase, Aladejobi suggests going back and requesting a meeting via email and negotiation on the phone. 

Negotiate on the phone when you make your ask, and your goal is to get them as close to your desired compensation number as possible. Start a bit higher than what you’re hoping for so that you’ll get your dream salary if they come down.

"Many times, women feel bad about making a lot of money, feel like we're being greedy for asking, and struggle with guilt. We shouldn't, and it's important to realize how much we deserve it," says Aladejobi.

Black women and other single, marginalized people who head households can create more financial security by not having to rely on a partner's money. They can feel secure that no matter what happens in a relationship, their financial future is secure, and they'll always be able to take care of their family.

Use these tips to increase your salary, make more money, and create financial independence. You deserve more, and you can get it. 

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