Earning What You’re Worth


A college senior sends out expertly reviewed resumes to companies she dreams of working for and, because of the education and unique experiences she received in her time at HPU, she gets the interview. She walks in confident, because she’s qualified and she went through several mock interviews with Career and Internship Services beforehand. She gets a job offer from her dream job. Then what? Should she take their first salary and benefits offer? Are there additional questions she should ask before accepting the job? Those are just a few of the questions HPU’s new WAGE Leadership Program, slated to launch this fall, will help answer.

The Women and Gender Equity (WAGE) Leadership Project was co-founded by Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of Women’s and Gender Studies, and Dr. Alixandra Yanus, assistant professor of political science, and is just one more way HPU will prepare students to take on the jobs of tomorrow once they graduate. It is an interdisciplinary initiative that will engage all HPU students, male and female, in leadership training and career development workshops and programs. Brandt and Yanus will teach students how to negotiate their first salary after college, how to develop a personal budget to determine salary needs, and how to benchmark salary and benefits.

“We want our students to know what they’re worth, and to earn what they’re worth,” says Brandt. “In my classes a lot of the students are surprised to learn that there is still a wage gap in the U.S. Part of the problem is that women don’t negotiate their salaries the same way men do, and that puts them at a disadvantage as they move on throughout their career. We don’t want our students, female or male, to fall into that trap.”

“We wanted to build a program that empowers HPU students to recognize their own substantial skills and potential. Too often we see these strengths in our students, and all they need is a small push to see it in themselves,” says Dr. Alixandra Yanus, assistant professor of political science.

The program will also discuss how gender dynamics impact men and women differently, and how students can become leaders on campus and in the workplace after they graduate.

“We believe the program has substantial potential to build students’ leadership skills, confidence and professional aptitudes,” says Yanus. “We also hope it will empower students to think more broadly about the world, its challenges and its opportunities.”

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