WORTH IT. UK Equal Pay Day Negotiation Workshops

As part of the IoPPN’s campaign to raise awareness of UK Equal Pay Day, Women of the Wohl developed and hosted a day of 2hr negotiation workshops in collaboration with actor/facilitators from React: Acting for Business.

Equal Pay Day is the gender pay gap in practice. Based on the UK’s gender pay gap, on average women in the UK work unpaid from 10th November to the end of the year, in comparison to male colleagues. Women of the Wohl and IoPPN Diversity & Inclusion worked together to raise awareness of this. From 10th November, we distributed ‘working unpaid since 10th November’ and ‘I Mind the Gap’ badges and posters to ensure this message was prominent around the IoPPN.

There are many interacting factors contributing to the gender pay gap, but from Women of the Wohl’s first launch meeting it became clear that the what/why/how of pay negotiation in a research career was a subject members of our community felt uninformed on. In light of this, we held our successful seminar ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Get’ by Sarah Mizielinska & Sandrine Thuret, who discussed their experiences of pay negotiation throughout their careers (and the disadvantages of not negotiating, where it is an option to you). In collaboration with IoPPN Pay Recruitment and Promotion working group, this seminar also launched the Negotiation Toolkit – an online collection of resources, information and practical advice on how to prepare and maximize your chances of successful negotiation.

Nice format, great actors. Loved the role-play!

– Workshop participant

To continue the conversation started on this subject, and to tie in as part of the UK Equal Pay Day campaign, we developed ‘WORTH IT’ – a negotiation workshop – with actor/facilitators from React:Acting for Business. The aim of this was to create an opportunity for people to explore the negotiation conversation in a positive, supportive environment – whether they were looking to negotiate for pay, resources, working hours or other things to enable their success and progression.

Very interactive, positive atmosphere. I took away advice that was practical and actionable.

– Workshop participant

The workshop centered around forum theatre, and a negotiation scene played out between an independent researcher and their head of department. After watching ‘negotiation-gone-wrong’, participants had the opportunity to ‘hot-seat’ the characters and explore the perspectives of the negotiator and the person being negotiated with. This was followed up with some break-out discussion activities, where participants had the opportunity to work with the actor/facilitators in small groups and pick up tips and advice for their own future negotiations. The session finished up with our informed participants put in the director’s chair as they called the shots to coach the negotiator through the original scene to a successful negotiation outcome!

Very engaging and very interesting. I hope to remember these skills I learned today to put into practice!

– Workshop participant

Overall, based on participant feedback the workshops received a very positive response. Due to the incredibly high demand (with all places being fully booked within a few hours of launch) Women of the Wohl will be looking to repeat this workshop day in the future.

Access the Negotiation Toolkit here (King’s Internal only)

Photography Credit: Emilia Bieszke

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