Asking for a raise can be nerve-racking, stressful, and altogether complicated.
Between mustering the confidence make the ask, getting the statistics to support, and finding the right time to do it, there’s no shortage of nuances to take into consideration.
But that shouldn’t stop us—because when it comes down it to it, there one simple truth that every woman should internalize— Money is power, and the truth is, right now men have more of it. And putting it another way, until we are financially equal with men, we are not equal with men.”
“We hear this term so often, empowerment,” says Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of Ellevest a digital investment platform. “Empowerment actually means to be given power.” Whether it’s a promotion at work or as the breadwinner at home, possession of money translates to a measure of power. And, according to Krawcheck, for women, in particular, money is the means to closing the gender pay gap, which still sees women making only 80% of the salaries men earn for the same jobs. In fact, according to an analysis at The Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women are working for free for 11 weeks and three days every year, while their male counterparts are being paid for every day of their hard work.This means that women make, on average, 77.4 percent of what men make in a year.
So, what does that mean for you?
It means that one of your New Year’s resolutions should be to ask for a raise at work.
“We’ve made progress, but that progress has stalled,” Krawcheck says to women. According to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, women are paid 20 percent less than their male counterparts for performing the same job. “I really think the final or one of the final legs of feminism is for us to become financially equal with men. Women still feel like they can’t go in and ask for the raise…when, in fact, asking for a raise usually results in actually getting the raise.
So, now the big question: What’s a future-focused, ambitious, smart girl to do?
Those on both sides of the issue agree: To address pay disparity, women must take matters into their own hands and take a stand for their own own finances — advice all of us can follow.
How do you do that?
Ask for a promotion. Start investing. Ask questions. And, for the sake of effecting change, get your own personal finances in order, says Krawcheck.
This means getting comparable salary figures and talking to your boss or those who make decisions about wages.
Now, that you know nothing’s holding you back from asking for that raise, follow these seven tips from Krawcheck on how to know what you’re worth and ask for the salary you deserve.
DISCOVER YOUR WORTH
Each and every one of us is worth it. Duh. But that’s the bottom line argument for why we certainly deserve that raise. Before you face your boss, do your research on online websites like Comparably.com, Hired.com, and GetRaised.com.
These websites will confirm if you’re underpaid, provide information on how much money people like you are making, and match you’re profiling with potential companies. This is the statistics homework that you must do before presenting to your boss.
COME FACE TO FACE WITH YOUR BOSS
Sitting down and having a civilized conversation is how business negotiations work. Schedule a time with your boss where you can discuss what he has pictured for your growth in the company, and how this will benefit the company.
In doing so you will have a clearer idea of what success means to you versus him.
DECIDE WHAT SUCCESS IS TO YOU
You are the only one who can choose what success means in your book. Brainstorm a list of realistic goals that will bring you to your personal happiness, or success.
Remember, you’re the only one setting your boundaries, so don’t hold back. Being clear with yourself on this topic will make it easier to communicate your goals to your boss.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help. The only communication with your boss shouldn’t just be over numbers, it should also be about your personal growth.
To get to the top, everyone had to work their way up the ranks, so he’s most likely very knowledgeable about work ethic and the ins and outs of the company. Ask for his feedback on how you can improve, which in the long run will boost your chance for a raise.
You can talk all you want, but you must have proof of your accomplishments and contributions to the company. When you feel prepared to ask for a raise, bring the data and examples of how you have positively impacted the company thus far.
Reiterating your focus and drive are key to demonstrating that you you are indespencible.
Walk in confident. You can do this by coming prepared with the industry average pay to yours. These numbers will justify your equivalence and make a case for your raise.
GO AROUND THE “NO”
If all else fails and the conversation ends with “no”, don’t just feebly get up and walk out. You’ve just mustered all this courage, and gone to all this trouble to make a killer case to your boss.
Don’t put this to waste, but rather use it to rationalize the possibility of a new title, high profile project, flexible hours, extra vacation, support in enrolling in a professional development class, or a mentoring relationship.
Bottom line, make it a point to leave his office with at least one new favorable change to your career.
For more money saving tips, see our 4 most important financial habits to establish in Your 30s. And for more on how to figure out if you’re underpaid at work and negotiate for more, check out this article.
Want to know more about money management? In addition to being an investment advisor, Ellevest is a resource on topics like goals-based investing and your finances overall, as well as your life and career. Sign up with Ellevest today to help guide you toward creating a budget plan fit just for you.
Disclosures: We’re excited to be working with the team at Ellevest to start this conversation about women and money. We may receive compensation if you become an Ellevest client.
Opening image: @chroniclesofher