Should Women Ask For Pay Raises Differently From Men?
Published: Mar 25, 2014
According to this New York Times video, the answer is yes.
In fact, the Times believes that “when women advocate for themselves at work it can sometimes backfire, which is why women need to take a more measured approach when asking for a raise or anything else at work.”
Although I’m not so sure that women need to take a different strategy from men in this regard (should men simply skip into their boss’s office and call out, “How does a 10 percent hike work for you?”), the Times makes a good point that there’s still a fair amount of gender discrimination in the workplace (which extends to compensation). The Times also doles out some sound advice for asking for a raise. And here are the paper’s five points to take into consideration when trying to get more cash out of your co.:
(1) Lay the Groundwork (“collect positive feedback about your work”); (2) Watch Your Words (“framing your request from your employer’s point of view”); (3) Find the Facts (“find out what others are making in your field, especially men”); (4) Negotiate in Person (“don’t use email”); and (5) Practice (“find a friend and role play”).
Which is all good advice. And my bet is that most women (as well as men) who are brave enough to ask for a raise know enough to do points 1 through 4. However, I’d also wager that few men and women actually do point 5. Which is a huge mistake, because really practicing what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it—if you’re going to ask for a raise, or if you’re going to have another difficult, in-person on-the-job conversation such as an interview—can make or break you. Not practicing in these instances is akin to being a stage actor and not rehearsing your lines for a play. Or being a politician and not rehearsing your talking points for a debate.
Of course, practicing is a bit more difficult than points 1 through 4 since it involves another person. But if you can find a willing friend (and a friend who won’t go easy on you, a friend who’ll tell you when you need to be clearer, more forceful, more conversational, less formal, etc.) then you’ll no doubt have a much better chance that your conversation will be a succe$$.
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Tips for Women Asking for a Raise (NYT)