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Stand Up And Demand Equal Pay – How Women Can Use Negotiating Techniques To Tackle The Gender Pay Gap

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Stand Up And Demand Equal Pay – How Women Can Use Negotiating Techniques To Tackle The Gender Pay Gap:

There are still no sectors in the UK economy where women are paid the same as men, with Government statistics showing that the median pay gap in the year 2018 /2019 was 11.9 per cent. Rachel Massey, Director of Communications and negotiation expert at Huthwaite International, discusses how to negotiate a pay rise in the gender pay gap climate.

There are many reasons to feel uncomfortable about negotiating a pay rise. But, perhaps the most important one is that employees often lack information: we don’t know how much we are worth, how much others are paid and how much employers are willing to pay.

With such a disadvantage, the process of talking about money becomes daunting – at the very least it’s easy to become unsure of how to start the conversation and what to ask for. Here are five tips that can be used to close the gender pay gap and secure equal pay.

  1. Be prepared

Don’t get mad at a certain project and then barge into your boss’s office demanding more money. Arm yourself with information. In all negotiations, you need to be prepared with as much information as possible.

Have evidence of how your work has evolved, what new responsibilities you have undertaken and standout pieces of work you have delivered since your last pay review.

You will also need proof that other people in your role are being paid more, particularly if those counterparts are male. Online salary surveys can be useful but talk to friends, colleagues and mentors that are comfortable divulging this information. This helps you to think about the value you bring in terms of your experience and proven performance.

You will also need information about your employers – have other females tried to negotiate better salaries and what has the reaction been? Is the company experiencing growth or decline and how were you involved in that? What is the company policy on pay? Does the business have over 250 employees and will they be having to disclose information on their pay gaps? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before entering the negotiation process.

There is no such thing as too much knowledge, gather as much information as possible to help you in that meeting.

  1. Give them time

Arrange the meeting in advance and make sure your manager knows what to expect. Managers tend not to like surprises and you don’t want them to feel blindsided. They will automatically become defensive and negative, particularly so if you start to accuse them of paying your colleagues more because of their gender.

When it comes to pay negotiations, putting them on the spot will only make for a stressful, tense situation that is far less likely to result in a positive outcome. Most of the time your manager will then have to sell your case to their manager, so you will need them onside.

  1. Be ready for negotiation

The biggest downfall for most people when asking for a pay rise is that they don’t expect any counter negotiation.

Be clear with yourself on what your boundaries are. How much scope for flexibility are you going to allow? What are you willing to accept or not accept?

You have the option to go back with a compromise and other suggestions. Think about a solution that could fit in well with your strategy. There may be different elements of your pay that could be interchangeable or traded-off. Identify what these could be so that you know what your options are.

And remember, your current employer is unlikely to pay you the same as a company looking to hire you. When you’re under contract, your employer will try and hold you at the lowest possible rate. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create a package that will work well for you, just be clear about what you want and why you deserve it.

  1. Use the power of silence.

Don’t be tempted into speaking or committing yourself to an offer too early. Human instinct is to fill those awkward silences with words, leading a person to ramble. This will result in you tripping yourself up and will put you automatically on the back foot. Don’t feel pressure to become overly talkative.

The real value in these meetings come from the replies you get back. You have to appreciate the value of silence and make sure you listen fully to the replies you receive. This is not only crucial to securing a positive outcome in this meeting but also stands you in good stead for future meetings.

  1. Post-meeting

Each situation is different and you may need more or less time to consider the offer depending on how close it is to what you want, and what the other options may be open to you. Don’t accept an offer during the meeting, instead explain that you need to consider it and you will let them know the next day.

Even if you think the offer is perfect, it is recommended that you give yourself at least a night to think it through. This also helps you stay in control of the situation. The people negotiating with you need to know this is important and it’s absolutely fair for you to take your time in making a decision or thinking about what your next move will be.

Regardless of the outcome, it’s important to put what you’ve agreed in writing. This gives you a paper trail and also ensures that everybody is held accountable for the next steps in the process.

Even if you’re unsuccessful in securing a raise, your boss might tell you that it’s something that can be revisited in 3-6 months. In that case, that’s exactly what you’d write in your graciously worded follow-up email – as well as making a clear note in your diary to broach the subject after the suggested time period.

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Oil slips after U.S. crude stocks rise amid deep freeze hit to refiners

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Oil slips after U.S. crude stocks rise amid deep freeze hit to refiners 1

By Sonali Paul

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Oil prices fell in early trade on Wednesday after industry data showed U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose last week as a deep freeze in the southern states curbed demand from refineries that were forced to shut.

Crude stockpiles rose by 1 million barrels in the week to Feb. 19, the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on Tuesday, against estimates for a draw of 5.2 million barrels in a Reuters poll.

API data showed refinery crude runs fell by 2.2 million bpd.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 55 cents or 0.9% at $61.12 a barrel at 0136 GMT, after slipping 3 cents on Tuesday.

Brent crude futures fell 38 cents, or 0.6%, to $64.99 a barrel, erasing Tuesday’s 13 cents gain.

Investors will be awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday that crude inventories rose last week, despite the hit to shale oil production amid the unprecedented icy spell in the U.S. south.

“The key question is how quickly does U.S. oil supply recover. It looks like supply will recover faster than refineries, and supply is going to outpace demand in the next few weeks. That will give negative weight to the market,” Commonwealth Bank analyst Vivek Dhar said.

The price retreat is being seen as a pause following a rally of more than 26% to 13-month highs in both Brent and WTI since the start of the year.

Prices have jumped due to the U.S. supply disruption and supply discipline by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, together called OPEC+, led by an extra 1 million bpd cut by Saudi Arabia.

At the same time stimulus spending to boost growth, investors rotating into commodities, and hopes that the rollout of vaccinations could lead to an easing of pandemic restrictions are all buoying oil prices.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Oil settles mixed amid post-storm uncertainty

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Oil settles mixed amid post-storm uncertainty 2

By Laura Sanicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices settled near year-long highs on Tuesday on signs that global coronavirus restrictions were being eased, although concerns about the pace of a U.S. economic recovery and the return of Texas oil production kept gains in check.

U.S. crude settled down 3 cents to $61.67 a barrel, still close to its highest levels since January 2020. Brent crude <LCOc1> settled up 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $65.37 a barrel.

Both contracts rose more than $1 earlier before retreating.

Shale oil producers and refiners in the southern United States are slowly resuming production after 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output and nearly 20% of U.S. refining capacity shut down because of last week’s winter storm.

Traffic at the Houston ship channel was slowly returning to normal. Production, however, was not expected to fully restart soon and some shale producers forecast lower oil output in the first quarter.

Some oil production may never come back, commodities merchant Trafigura said on Tuesday.

After the cold snap, U.S. crude oil stockpiles were also seen falling for a fifth straight week, while the inventories of refined products also declined last week, an extended Reuters poll showed.

“It appears that last week’s severe cold spell and related Texas power outage could be affecting the weekly EIA data into the middle of next month,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates in Galena, Illinois.

There were also concerns over the U.S. economic recovery, which the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said remained “uneven and far from complete.”

He said it would be “some time” before the central bank considered changing policies it had adopted to help the country back to full employment.

Commerzbank analyst Eugen Weinberg said the recent oil price rise was buoyed by upbeat price forecasts from U.S. brokers.

Goldman Sachs expects Brent prices to reach $70 per barrel in the second quarter from the $60 it predicted previously, and $75 in the third quarter from $65 forecast earlier.

Morgan Stanley, which expects Brent to reach $70 in the third quarter, said new COVID-19 cases were falling while “mobility statistics are bottoming out and are starting to improve”.

Bank of America said Brent prices could temporarily spike to $70 in the second quarter.

(Reporting by Laura Sanicola in New York; Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London and Jessica Jaganathan in Singapore; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Mark Heinrich)

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Exclusive: AstraZeneca to miss second-quarter EU vaccine supply target by half – EU official

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Exclusive: AstraZeneca to miss second-quarter EU vaccine supply target by half - EU official 3

By Francesco Guarascio

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – AstraZeneca expects to deliver less than half the COVID-19 vaccines it was contracted to supply the European Union in the second quarter, an EU official told Reuters on Tuesday.

The expected shortfall, which has not previously been reported, comes after a big reduction in supplies in the first quarter and could hit the EU’s ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by the summer.

The EU official, who is directly involved in talks with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, said the company had told the bloc during internal meetings that it “would deliver less than 90 million doses in the second quarter”.

AstraZeneca’s contract with the EU, which was leaked last week, showed the company had committed to delivering 180 million doses to the 27-nation bloc in the second quarter.

“Because we are working incredibly hard to increase the productivity of our EU supply chain, and doing everything possible to make use of our global supply chain, we are hopeful that we will be able to bring our deliveries closer in line with the advance purchase agreement,” a spokesman for AstraZeneca said, declining to comment on specific figures.

A spokesman for the European Commission, which coordinates talks with vaccine manufacturers, said it could not comment on the discussions as they were confidential.

He said the EU should have more than enough shots to hit its vaccination targets if the expected and agreed deliveries from other suppliers are met, regardless of the situation with AstraZeneca.

The EU official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, confirmed that AstraZeneca planned to deliver about 40 million doses in the first quarter, again less than half the 90 million shots it was supposed to supply.

AstraZeneca warned the EU in January that it would fall short of its first-quarter commitments due to production issues. It was also due to deliver 30 million doses in the last quarter of 2020 but did not supply any shots last year as its vaccine had yet to be approved by the EU.

All told, AstraZeneca’s total supply to the EU could be about 130 million doses by the end of June, well below the 300 million it committed to deliver to the bloc by then.

The EU has also faced delays in deliveries of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech as well as Moderna’s shot. So far they are the only vaccines approved for use by the EU’s drug regulator.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine was authorised in late January and some EU member states such as Hungary are also using COVID-19 shots developed in China and Russia.

OUTPUT BOOST DOWN THE LINE?

While drugmakers developed COVID-19 vaccines at breakneck speed, many have struggled with manufacturing delays due to complex production processes, limited facilities and bottlenecks in the supply of vaccine ingredients.

According to a German health ministry document dated Feb. 22, AstraZeneca is forecast to make up all of the shortfalls in deliveries by the end of September.

The document seen by Reuters shows Germany expects to receive 34 million doses in the third quarter, taking its total to 56 million shots, which is in line with its full share of the 300 million doses AstraZeneca is due to supply to the EU.

The German health ministry was not immediately available for a comment.

If AstraZeneca does ramp up its output in the third quarter, that could help the EU meet its vaccination target, though the EU official said the bloc’s negotiators were wary because the company had not clarified where the extra doses would come from.”Closing the gap in supplies in the third quarter might be unrealistic,” the official said, adding that figures on deliveries had been changed by the company many times.

The EU contracts stipulates that AstraZeneca will commit to its “best reasonable efforts” to deliver by a set timetable.

“We are continuously revising our delivery schedule and informing the European Commission on a weekly basis of our plans to bring more vaccines to Europe,” the AstraZeneca spokesman said.

Under the EU contract leaked last week, AstraZeneca committed to producing vaccines for the bloc at two plants in the United Kingdom, one in Belgium and one in the Netherlands.

However, the company is not currently exporting vaccines made in the United Kingdom, in line with its separate contract with the British government, EU officials said.

AstraZeneca also has vaccine plants in other sites around the world and it has told the EU it could provide more doses from its global supply chain, including from India and the United States, an EU official told Reuters last week.

Earlier this month, AstraZeneca said it expected to make more than 200 million doses per month globally by April, double February’s level, as it works to expand global capacity and productivity.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Additional reporting by Andreas Rinke and Sabine Siebold; Editing by David Clarke)

 

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