By now we’ve heard of the Great Resignation, referring to the influx of labor market workers quitting their jobs in pursuit of better opportunities. Now, two years in, we’re entering into a new era in the workforce: The Great Renegotiation. A byproduct of inflation, this is the name experts are calling the recent uptick in workers who are seeking higher pay to stay on pace with the rising cost of living. Within this movement,  women in leadership positions are demanding more and are willing to leave their roles if their demands aren’t met. But where do Black Women Fit in? Emily M Dickens says wherever they want. 

Dickens serves as the Chief of Staff and Head of Government Affairs at the Society For Human Resource Management, the nation’s leading organization in the HR space, and regularly analyzes workforce data. She says she recognizes the trend and urges employers to pay attention. 

“It’s important to emphasize that organizations with a higher proportion of women in leadership positions experience improved business outcomes, including greater innovation and productivity, yet women are still underrepresented in the C-suite.”

She also said this workforce movement is signaling a larger cultural shift in that women workers are talking to each other more and taking notes on what they learn. 

“We are seeing more women having internal conversations with one another about their salaries now more than ever,” she said.  “In a climate where it’s harder to source and retain talent, it’s imperative that business leaders take a closer look at the gender gaps that exist across their organizations to see that every employee has the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

SHRM’s recent Women in Leadership Report found that organizations with the most success at employee retention have made concerted efforts to create a more equitable work environment.  Dickens says she recommends that women manage their managers, and ask for what they feel they deserve. 

“Once a year during merit reviews, your employers take a look at what you’ve contributed to the company and what your future looks like,” she said. “I recommend you keep detailed notes on the projects you’ve contributed to so when it comes time for you to be evaluated, your manager and company are being evaluated as well. If you find your market value doesn’t align with your current pay rate, say something.” 

She says that overall, the Great Renegotiation is a sign of lasting change. 

“According to our research, we’ve been seeing that for years, women of color in leadership are five times more likely to leave a company than men–it’s time to ask ourselves why that is, and find a way to make them want to stay.”