Start 2017 Right: Working Women Ask For The Raise You Deserve

Asking for a raise or promotion can be complicated for women, studies show.

Asking for a raise or promotion can be complicated for women, studies show.

It’s not always about the money. It could be about a new title. Developmental training. Time off. Perks such as a company car or access to high level conferences and new responsibilities. Flex time.But if one of your 2017 New Year’s resolutions is to move up in your career, then now is the time to plan and to go for it. And ask for a raise, more compensation, a promotion or acknowledgment in any form that you see fit.[bctt tweet=“If your New Year’s resolution is to move up in your career, go for it now #womenleaders” username=“takeleadwomen”]“When we think of negotiation in the workplace, we usually think of money. Sometimes that’s a possibility; sometimes it’s not. And sometimes it’s not truly what you want; it’s simply an easy proxy for your real interests. What else might improve your job satisfaction?” writes Meg Bartelt, President of Flow Financial Planning, in Kiplinger.“Be intentional about it. Find negotiation workshops or coaches. Practice is essential. Read articles. Read books,” Bately suggests. “Find out what your job gets paid in other companies using sites such as PayScale, Comparably and Ackwire (which is particularly useful for my clients in the tech industry because it provides anonymous startup salaries, stock options and equity data).”And once you are in the room for the “meeting,” that may include your performance review and salary discussion, remember these key tips, according to Bartelt:

  • Don’t fill every silence.

  • Don’t get sidetracked.

  • Take a break if you feel rushed or pressured.

  • Don’t accept too quickly.

While likely no man or woman loves to go into his or her supervisor and work through a negotiation, working women are far more uncomfortable than men in the process.“A study of graduating university students found that only 7 percent of female students attempted to negotiate an initial job offer as compared to 57 percent of men (Babcock & Laschever, 2003),” writes Jeff Haden in Inc. “This created a starting salary difference of 7.4 percent — and over time, even small differences in starting salaries can lead to substantial gaps.According to Haden, “Another survey by Elle magazine found that 53 percent of women had never asked for a raise, compared with 40 percent of men.”They have reason to be wary.“Women who request either a raise or a higher starting salary are more likely than men to be perceived as greedy, demanding or just not very nice. Studies have shown that both male and female managers are less likely to want to work with women who negotiate during a job interview,” Haden writes.Yet, a new study finds that nice women finish last.“A team of international researchers have found nice, agreeable women make less than their more dominant female, and all male coworkers,” writes Lizette Borreli in Medical Daily.“’We found that women aren’t aware that more agreeable women are being punished for being nice,’ said Dr. Michal Biron, study author, and part of the Department of Business Administration at the University of Haifa, in a statement.”Borreli explains the study of 1,400 employees in a Dutch electronics company here, “To analyze what both men and women thought about their position and salary, the researchers examined how the individual perceived the fit between their education, experience, and performance on the one hand, and their income and rank on the other.”Everyone who responded to the survey said they were unhappy with their salaries. The shocker is that “nice, agreeable women” felt they were paid too much.“The researcher agreed ‘this blew our minds,’ because they couldn’t believe the stark contrast between non-dominant women and dominant women who had different attitudes about wages,” Borreli writes.“The data shows that they earn the least — far less than what they deserve. And they rationalize the situation, making it less likely that they will make appropriate demands for equal pay,” said  Prof. Sharon Toker of the Tel Aviv University Coller School of Business Management, in a statement.Nice women, nasty women, all working women have thought about or gone through with asking for a raise. And almost everyone gets nervous.

January may be the best time to ask for a raise or make adjustments, according to Kevin Granville writing in the New York Times.  Granville writes: “‘You’ve got to go into these discussions with a clear sense that this is something you have earned, not a gift from your boss,’ said Kenneth N. Siegel, an industrial psychologist and the president of the Impact Group, a leadership consulting firm. ‘Focus on what you’ve earned, not what you deserve.‘”

He adds, “The fact that women still make about 80 cents for every dollar paid to men has been partly attributed to the differences in the negotiating process itself. One study, described by Tara Siegel Bernard in her article ‘A Toolkit for Women Seeking a Raise,’ found that women who asked for pay raises were seen as less attractive employees than men who asked for raises.”

But women were more likely to be granted a raise, the Tel Aviv University study showed,  if they framed their request with language that showed that they cared about maintaining good relationships at work. “Make the company the focus,” said Hannah Riley Bowles of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

[bctt tweet=“All working women have thought about or gone through with asking for a raise #genderequality” username=“takeleadwomen”]“Setting up a meeting with the boss to ask for a bump in salary can be a loaded, anxiety-inducing experience for anyone — even when you clearly deserve a raise. Women in the workforce already have to deal with the ugly realities of the gender pay gap, and failing to negotiate a higher salary at the onset can become a barrier years down the line. According to research from Glassdoor, 68 percent of women accepted the salary they were initially offered and did not negotiate,”  writes Julie Ma in New York Magazine.Ma collected the anecdotes of several famous working women on their experiences of asking for a raise, just to show that even the super stars have to do it.She quotes actress Amy Adams in Elle U.K. here: “The negotiation comes to a standstill and I have to make a choice, which a lot of women do. I can walk away. But I choose not to.This is an issue not just about women’s pay; we need to work on how women are viewed in society and then the pay will be reflected in that. Right now time is more important to me. So that’s what I negotiate because any time I’m working, I’m not spending with my daughter.”The good news is that with growing awareness of the need for gender equity for working women, especially with initiatives such as Paradigm for Parity, and the Take The Lead mission to reach gender parity by 2025, more administrators, supervisors and those who decide on salaries may be in the need to level the paying field.You asked for it.