“Money, money, money — must be funny, in a rich man’s world.
Money, money, money — must be sunny, in a rich man’s world.”
The hit song by the all-women band, ABBA, was onto something 40+ years ago as it depicts a woman who, despite working hard, isn’t able to make ends meet. And it’s not due to frivolous spending.
Sadly, a similar scenario rings true today. For decades, women have been paid less than men for the same jobs [source]. Until recently, we weren’t asking for raises either. We weren’t even asking. The whole situation is incredibly frustrating.
If we are doing the same jobs as our male counterparts, we should be paid the same. Period. That shouldn’t even be considered a feminist view. It’s a human right. Plain and simple.
Our founder and CEO, Marisa Corrado works in Washington, D.C. in a male-dominated industry. She sees disparity like this on a daily basis. However; recent studies show that women are now asking for raises as often as men, but they are less likely to get them [source].
One common explanation for this is that women are less likely to negotiate their salaries. There are studies and books written about this phenomenon. Ladies, we’re here to give you some tips on how to get what you’re asking for now. We are in this together. The more of us that stand up and demand rightful compensation, the faster the mold will break.
As Maya Angelou says —“each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”
Know The Market
Do your research. Find out what others are being paid, including your male counterpart. Find similar jobs in your community. Stay local; the cost of living plays a part into setting salaries. You may not find your job title being used in other organizations. Instead, look for keywords and responsibilities. There are salary comparison websites to help you with this like Glassdoor.com or Salary.com. Gather the facts and make sure they relate to your job and industry.
Be Level Headed and Open Minded
Once you have done your research and decided on a fair increase, try to relax and go into the meeting with an open mind. Allow your boss to speak and be an active part of the conversation. Try not to overwhelm him with all of the information you’ve accumulated.
If you ask and the answer is ‘no’, don’t get upset. Thank your boss for their time and ask if there’s something more you can do or if there’s a more suitable time of year to ask. It will be disappointing but don’t take it personally.
Recognize the Organization’s Budget
Depending on who you work for, there may not be money to give. There may also be an internal cap on what the organization has budgeted for your position. Ask about this. Although it may not be public information, your boss may be willing to share this information with you.
Remember to be realistic in the amount or percentage you ask for. And, on the contrary, give yourself room to negotiate. If you ask for 6%, they may respond with 5% but if you ask for 10%, they may counter with 6%. Of course, this is all relative to the information you found in your market research (see tip 1).
Dress the Part
There have been recent studies on how clothes influence our performance in the workplace [source]. If we dress for success, we are more likely to be successful.
Wearing clothes that make you look good, make you feel good and you exude that confidence. Invest in a Mercury Clothiers suit and you’ll be sure to feel like a boss (lady). Our feminine fitting pieces will empower you to take on the world, let alone your raise meeting! Click here to join our mailing list and be the first to find out when the new line launches.
Know Your Worth
So, we’ve established that there is a gender wage gap. However, this and only this is not sufficient supporting documentation for your raise.
Compile a list of your recent accomplishments and note why they are important to the organization. If you have saved the company money or, better yet, brought money in, highlight this.
It is easy to assume that your boss is familiar with your job performance but don’t wait for anyone (including your boss) to advocate for you and suggest a pay raise. Speak up for yourself and initiate the conversation.
You should also ask to take on positions with greater responsibility and impact. This will show your boss that you have the desire and capability to do more which will lead to a raise faster.
Prepare Counter Arguments
If your boss isn’t convinced by the things you have accomplished or how they have attributed to the company’s bottom line, have supporting documentation to prove otherwise. They say that people usually get stuck on the 3rd rebuttal so be prepared with support for more than 1 disagreement.
This is often the hardest part and the most important. If you don’t believe in yourself, your boss certainly isn’t going to. You’ve done your job and now you’ve done the research and preparation to ask for the raise you deserve. Look your boss in the eyes, smile with confidence and present your case.
Leave the meeting feeling empowered, whether you were granted the raise or not, you’ve shown your boss (and yourself) that you know your self-worth.
Asking for a raise isn’t personal, although it may feel that way. It’s business. Just remember — you are worth it and you do deserve it.