How To Really Get a Raise

This post topic was submitted by one of my readers asking to address how women can get their achievements noticed and make sure they receive the recognition they deserve. Thanks for this idea!

Do you think you’re recognized for your work?

Some women in the workplace feel they are still not equal to men. Many feel they’re not recognized and underpaid at their organization, even though they contribute just as much as, if not more than, their male counterparts.

As it turns out, this perceived gap is not a myth.

According to a 2010 article in the Harvard Business Review, “Investigating the Pay Gap,” Sarah Green states the median salary of a woman is still only 78 percent of a man’s, meaning a woman would have to work 16 months to earn what a man makes in a year. Also, Green cites the Center for American Progress who found that by the end of their careers, male managers had made $635,000 more than their female peers.

If a woman knows she’s being paid less than her male counter-parts, this can make her feel like she’s not being recognized. But the pay gap is attributed to factors other than gender too, which many women fail to realize.

Alexandra Levit provides some great insights on this in her book, Blind Spots, which tackles 10 major business myths. In chapter six, Myth #6 – You’ll Get More Money Becasue You Earned It, she addresses the factors that actually influence salary and how to ask for a raise. She states;

  • One of the most important factors that determine employee compensation is the overall financial performance of the company
  • Fixed internal policies (like pay grades) and market considerations (what competitors pay their employees) effects a company’s ability to easily give employees raises
  • Same-level employees may not be paid equally because of gender or because they were hired at different times and under different circumstances

Once we uncover the factors that go into determining a raise, you might be more hesitant to ask for one since it’s not determined on performance alone.  But Levit states that it never hurts to ask for a raise, however, there are many things to consider. She states;

  • Make sure you choose a time to approach your boss when they seem relaxed and not under any big deadlines.
  • Be aware of outside factors, such as your organization’s financial standing and compensation policies.
  • Research your worth on Salary.com to determine how your pay compares to your counterparts in your area.
  • Communicate your value to the organization, rather than using the justification that you’re paid less than others.
  • Think very carefully about whether you’ve earned a raise
If you don’t feel you’re getting the recognition or reimbursement you deserve, stand up for your worth, but also do your research so you can provide some justification and better evaluate your organization’s standing and policies.

It’s easy to complain about how much you don’t make compared to others,  but also realize that you have the power to change your situation, you just have to prove it.

 Have you ever asked for a raise? What was the outcome?

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