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Start Smart Salary Negotiation

The Start Smart campus initiative is a collaboration between the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and the WAGE Project, developed to empower college women and provide them with the tools to negotiate salaries and benefits as they approach the job market. Start Smart campus salary negotiation workshops are designed to help college women obtain fair and realistic first salaries. Workshop participants engage in role-play exercises to gain concrete negotiation skills, learn about the personal consequences of the gender wage gap, learn how to benchmark reasonable salaries and benefits, and gain insight into their bottom line and how to budget.

During this time, we are only offering virtual workshops to ensure the safety and well-being of our Virginia Tech community. The virtual workshop is 60 minutes long, so please be sure to keep that in mind when submitting your request. To ensure we can schedule facilitators to accommodate your request, requests must be made at least two weeks (14 days) in advance.

This workshop is currently unavailable. For questions or additional information about the Start Smart salary negotiation workshops, email

Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day takes place each April, symbolizing how many days into the year that women have to work to earn the same amount that men earned as of December 31 the previous year. Today, women who work full-time earn, on average, 82 cents for every dollar that men earn. 

graphic of pay rates for women compared to white non-hispanic men

 One year out of college, women working full-time earn only 80% as much as their male colleagues earn, even when they have the same degree and the same job. Ten years after graduation, women fall further behind, earning only 69% as much as men earn. While the issues associated with the gender wage gap are complex, negotiation skills are identified as one key component to reducing the pay gap between men and women.