Start Smart


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AAUW Start Smart, a program of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that takes an important step toward closing the pay gap. Informed by reliable research, this program is designed to empower women with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits.

Several U.S. cities have taken on city-wide initiatives to help women be successful. Read about Boston from the New York Times article at:

The gender pay gap hurts women of all backgrounds, and it has far-reaching consequences for women’s financial security.

  • Women working full time in the United States typically are paid just 80 percent of what men are paid.
  • Latinas are paid 54 cents to every dollar white, non-Hispanic men are paid.
  • American Indian and Alaska Native women 58 cents.
  • Native Hawaiian women 60 cents.
  • African American women 63 cents.
  • white women 75 cents; and
  • Asian American women 85 cents.

The gender pay gap starts just one year out of college with women making 7 to 10 cents less than similar male graduates, and the disadvantages only worsen over time.

That’s is why it’s crucial to establish a fair salary early on.

Join the Start Smart Facebook page:                          

There is now an online tool available at:                                          

The Start Smart Workshops

AAUW is leading the charge by offering AAUW Start Smart salary negotiation workshops. Using the lens of the gender pay gap, workshops are designed to empower college students entering the job market with the skills and confidence they need to successfully negotiate their salary and benefits packages. Find workshop schedules here.

The Benefits

By learning strategies and practising effective language, participants gain valuable skills they can use throughout their lives — well beyond their first negotiation.

The Smart Start  workshop curricula employ the latest in research and negotiation strategies to help students 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.

In every two hour workshop, participants learn

  • How to identify and articulate your personal value
  • How to develop an arsenal of persuasive responses and other strategies to use when negotiating
  • How to conduct objective market research to benchmark a target salary and benefits
  • About the wage gap, including its long-term consequences