What’s the best way for women to get a raise? Make some noise and Ask.
In a perfect equitable world, everyone would be paid what they are worth regardless of gender. Companies would be the ones with the onus on their back to make sure it happens that way. Some organizations like Salesforce, have made great progress in this area but unfortunately, many have not.
Recent articles have touted that the onus should not be on Women to ask for more but for companies to make everyone whole. Yes, that would be nice and should be high on the agenda of all organizations. But if women wait for that to happen, they are entirely relinquishing their power. It’s like sitting in the castle waiting for prince or princess charming. Not a very reliable plan.
The reality is quite often whoever yells the loudest gets the reward.
Women have increasingly become the primary breadwinners, but statistics show less than half of professional women have asked their employer for a raise. The failure to negotiate for higher pay is crucial. It was shown that men are four times more likely to ask for a raise than women in business. Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon University, said that women don’t think about asking for a raise. The very idea of negotiating is intimidating, even scary.
So how do you ask for a raise?
The first step in getting a raise is asking. Many women are overlooked when it comes to getting a raise simply because they don’t ask for one. They think they will automatically be offered more money if they ‘deserve it” but that’s not the case.
The next step is keeping track of the contributions you make to your company. Don’t be afraid to brag. Be proud of what you have done so far and use it at the negotiating table.
Ask your boss questions such as, “What do you think about my work?” and “What can I do to make myself more valuable to the company?” By asking these questions, you are better able to understand how your boss views your accomplishments and contributions and what is important to them. If you do not get a raise, ask specifically what you need to do to qualify for one. Fulfill these objectives and go back and ask again. Follow-up all discussions with an e-mail so everyone is on the same page.
If your boss agrees to a raise, but the number does not meet your expectations, negotiate a better deal for yourself. Come in at a higher number than you ideally want and use your accomplishments as your strongest negotiating tactic. Don’t be afraid to be bold, tout your achievements and contributions to the company. Men have no problem promoting themselves in the workplace. Women tend to be more modest voicing their successes.
So when exactly is the best time to bring up a conversation like this? The best time to ask for a raise is after a major accomplishment or achievement and when business is robust. But don’t put asking off waiting for the perfect time because you’ll wait forever.
Just like at the poker table, the prize goes to the bold. Get what’s rightfully yours. Don’t be afraid to make some noise and ask or as they say in poker be the bettor and make people pay to play with you.