Many women feel uncomfortable when asking for a pay rise at work and it seems women are holding themselves back from getting what they really deserve. Here is a look at how women can overcome the barriers and get themselves on a level pegging with their male counterparts.
Picture the scene, a hard working, already high-powered woman is going for a highly substantial promotion. She is up against male colleagues with similar experience but less impressive results at the company. She knows that she really is the best candidate for the role and she probably will get the job, but it is also likely that she is going to sell herself short when it comes to getting paid.
Often simple reasoning as to things such as the current state of the economy and the basic truth that she really doesn’t need anymore, are the main reasons why women don’t ask for what they deserve when it comes to negotiating their new salary. Now is the time to throw that thought process out of the window and get with the program, just like the men have always done.
1. You Are Unique: One of the biggest hurdles facing women entering into negotiations is the feeling that they are simply an interchangeable part of a much bigger business process. If you enter into any exchange with this mindset, you are getting to get exactly what you deserve in terms of pay, which is a lot less than somebody who presents themselves as a unique, irreplaceable person that the company would be much worse off without.
2. Understand Your Own Ambition: There is no point asking for a pay rise in a a negotiation simply because you think you should. Business shouldn’t work like that. You need to understand exactly what it is you bring to the company and present that clearly when it comes to negotiations. A driven, focussed person almost always gets what she wants.
3. You Are Worth It: Women often feel uncomfortable extolling their own virtues to others. This kind of apprehension is something that must be overcome in order to get paid. If you don’t talk about how good you are, nobody else is going to do it for you. Just remember to kind this checked; people don’t like show offs.
4. Reach For The Sky: A lot of women encounter problems in being aggressive in negotiations. This is another factor that must be overcome. You start high and then you bargain things out until you arrive at something that is fair to both sides. Trying to add things on once deals have been made just doesn’t work.
5. Be A Little Cheeky: Nobody will begrudge you a little cheekiness when it comes to negotiating your rise. If you feel you’re worth it, and you know your bosses feel the same way, why not try asking for something close to unrealistic. It’ll shock them and you probably won’t get it, but don’t ask, don’t get.
6. Mask Those Emotions: Negotiating a rise can be stressful, but never let the people in the room sense your weakness. If you seem nervous and uneasy, there is little chance of you getting what you deserve. Be strong and appear detached from it all, even though you aren’t.
7. Don’t Be Intimidated: Chances are that a salary negotiation meeting will see you going face to face with some pretty senior people. Don’t let this get the better of you. Now is not the time to wilt. Now is the time to show them exactly what you are worth to their company.
8. Strictly Business: Don’t let your guard slip during a salary negotiation because even the most innocuous remark could somehow be used against you later. You can all be friendly later on, but this is serious and you need to keep on message.
9. Demand Respect: It’s possible that you will encounter some pretty underhand tactics when it comes to negotiating a salary. You may well see the nasty side of your superiors. Never let this turn into bullying and if it does, you stand your corner and demand respect. If it doesn’t come, it’s probably time to seek pastures new.
The bottom line here is that women need to realise that nobody is doing them a favour in the workplace. You work and you deserve the rewards that go along with that. Now is the time to take the initiative.
This article written by Alisha Webb.
Alisha is a content writer for The Gap Partnership AU – Negotiation Specialists offering training in Business Negotiations.