The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is working to close the gender pay gap by 2030!

Join the 10 million women across the U.S. being trained in salary negotiation. Learn how to improve your financial future and secure the pay you deserve.

What is the pay gap?

The difference between what an average woman working full-time is paid compared to the average man. American women earn only 80 percent of their male counterparts, a pay gap of 20 percent. Black and Hispanic women earn even less. Even just one year out of college, women are paid 18 percent less than men.

Why does it matter?

The pay gap has lifelong financial effects that grow over time, from the ability to pay for education and childcare to saving for retirement, impacting women in nearly every profession. The Work Smart program teaches women at all stages of their career how to negotiate their pay, resulting in improved financial futures for themselves and their families.

Why are Work Smart and Smart Start the answer?

While the pay gap results from many factors — including discrimination — gender differences in salary negotiation play a role. Men are four times more likely to negotiate their starting salary, and negotiations on average result in higher pay. Learning to confidently negotiate your salary will help ensure you earn the pay and benefits you deserve.

How it works:

At one of our free, two-hour salary negotiation workshops, you will learn:

  • Identify and articulate your personal value
  • Develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other negotiation strategies
  • Conduct objective market research to benchmark a target salary and benefits
  • About the wage gap, including its long-term consequences on your career

Work Smart results:

The Work Smart program has already trained more than 30,000 women, and nearly all participants report increased knowledge, skills, and confidence in negotiating. A study of the AAUW Work Smart in Boston program’s first year found nearly half of workshop participants successfully negotiated a competitive starting salary or pay raise following their training. Women come away from the workshops knowing how to determine their market worth based on their skills, experience, performance, qualifications, and responsibilities on the job and having the tools and business strategies they need to successfully negotiate for fair pay for the rest of their careers.



How Is AAUW closing the gender pay gap?

AAUW Start Smart and AAUW Work Smart are programs of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that take an important step toward closing the pay gap. Informed by reliable research, both workshops are designed to empower women with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits.

The workshop curricula employ the latest in research and negotiation strategies to help women navigate the complexities of job offers and promotion opportunities. Women come away from the workshops knowing how to determine their market worth based on their skills, experience, performance, qualifications, and responsibilities on the job and having the tools and business strategies they need to successfully negotiate for fair pay for the rest of their careers.

AAUW Start Smart is designed for college women who are approaching the job market and focuses on helping you negotiate for a new job.


AAUW Work Smart is designed for women who are already in the workforce at any career level and helps you negotiate for a new job, raise, or promotion.

More about AAUW

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political.

Closing the pay gap matters to everyone. At AAUW we have a plan.