Benevolent Sexism and Other Things I'm Cranky About



I’m cranky about benevolent sexism. While perusing my LinkedIn feed, a dude in pursuit of hiring the perfect person (dude), posted this:
“Just received a CV and in the 'Interests' section, it said ‘I am father to 3 children which means my hobbies include Pokémon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig. I can put any toy together that is put in front of me and have learned that I must always have an array of batteries available’ true.”
The cheering section went wild with appreciation. Men and women saying, “love this” and “cute” and “hire him stat!” And then, bound to my duty to perform daily acts of resistance, I wrote, “I pine away for the day that if that were a woman’s CV she would be regaled and appreciated as much. AND called in for an interview.”
Mothers who mother should stay invisible. Dads who father are C-suite material.

I’m cranky about what appears to be an alarming uptick in the number of employers who tell candidates, “The salary is not negotiable.” This is happening in first round interviews and at the point of offer. Making matters worse, even when candidates present research and market value data, and map their value to the needs and goals of the organization, they don't budge.
Cutting to the chase, here are the typical business case reasons:

“Fairness. Policy. This is where we start everyone in this role.”

“Performance is the only metric we value. Let’s see how things go year one, and then we’ll talk about an increase.”

"Your research is [faulty] [unreliable] [incomplete] and doesn't compare to what our compensation experts recommend."

These reasons may portend a hostile culture, or extreme overwork expectations, or a business that’s tanking. Or even worse, maybe they only hire women in your role, knowing they will more often than not say yes.

Research the hell out of the company. Find out how profitable they are. Talk to present and past employees about culture. Read the Glassdoor reviews.

Use your research to formulate pointed questions that acknowledge the elephant in the room. “I’m curious about reviews and feedback about the company citing slow promotion and salary growth. Can you help me understand those reviews?”

If you don’t like what you read, and you don’t like the answers you get, remember, there are more fish in the sea! Don’t settle. Your future is at stake.

If you’re told the salary is not negotiable, and you still want to pursue it, here’s what I’d say:
“What I’m looking for is a good fit. And salary is important. What’s troubling is that the salary is roughly the same as I’m making now, and requires moving 500 miles. If you’d be willing to consider a signing bonus to offset both the move and the lateral salary and to lock in a six-month salary review in the employment agreement, I’m happy to proceed.”
If you get a no to that, you know what to do.
Cranky Lisa, over and out.