THE BLOG

Why Do Women Feel Less Confident Asking for a Pay Rise or Promotion Than Men?

29/01/2014 15:35 GMT | Updated 31/03/2014 10:59 BST

My own personal opinion, based on years of experience as an executive coach, is that although women have risen in the workplace to CEO's and have responsibility and respect from their peers - including their male colleagues - there is still the attitude that men have been doing it for longer and deserve a pay rise.

It's all in the mind.

Men think in a more 'linear' logical way.

Women can be more sensitive and think more emotionally. In my experience working with both genders, the women worry if they are worthy and if they deserve it. One client thought if she asked for more she would be sacked because her boss would be cross, and another though he wouldn't like her any more and would make her life difficult in the office.

Women may also feel awkward because they know budgets are tight and don't want to put their boss in a difficult position even though they are working twice as hard as anyone else in their team. My male clients usually just go in and ask because they believe they deserve it.

Being afraid of rejection is something most women and men can feel at some time in their lives.

1. Self-belief can be a main factor to overcoming negative thoughts of reflection.

2. Self -talk is a key contributor to positive thinking and by telling yourself "I believe in myself" "I can do this" "I am going to do this" are your first steps forward.

3. When working with clients who are feeling unsure about themselves and don't feel confident about asking their boss for a day off, let alone a pay rise, for fear of him/her saying 'no' I provide positive techniques:

A. Think of a character in a movie or a friend or family member that inspires you and has the confidence you want to feel. Imagine they are standing in front of you. What would they say and how would they say it?

Take a step forward into their shoes and imagine what they are feeling. See your boss through their eyes and hear them asking the question you want to ask with a positive attitude.

Bring on this memory and good positive feeling of stepping into their shoes every time you need it by squeezing your thumb and your forefinger together. This is called anchoring.

B. One of my clients had a grumpy boss who everyone in her office disliked. He wasn't approachable until she looked at him in a completely different way. She imagined he looked like a white fluffy bunny rabbit with a tiny high-pitched voice instead of a rhino with a gruff frightening voice!

My client also stepped into the shoes of Kate Winslet and walked straight up to him with a big smile on her face and said she would like to have a day off the following week. Later that week she approached him about a pay rise and she got one! She wasn't afraid of him any more and encouraged her colleagues to do the same and see their boss in a different way.

It can be very lonely at the top as a CE0 or director and managing teams. The boss may have insecurities and issues of their own; they have to answer to the hierarchy of the organisation. They are also under a lot of pressure to deliver. Many heads of organisations I have worked with feel the pressures of having to deliver and can seem distant with teams.

Understand that they are human with their own personal, as well as professional, issues. If they seem unapproachable tell yourself that is their issue - not yours.

Your attitude also makes a difference. How your boss perceives you can also be the deciding factor on decisions made. By projecting confidence and self-esteem you not only demonstrate a belief in yourself but also that you are decisive about your own goals as well as those of your business.

If you ask for a pay rise and you get a 'yes' that is fabulous. If you are told 'no' then ask why and when will you be considered for one? Never take 'no' as final answer. If may be a few months down the line until you get the results you want but never give up.

Do what you believe in. This is your job and you want to feel happy, positive and confident enough to ask for what you need and deserve.

Every time a negative thought comes into your mind visualise a red traffic light in front of you telling you 'Stop'! Change it to a green light for 'Go' and bring on positive thoughts of self-belief and confidence. Tell yourself 'I can do this' and do it!

Remember your boss or HR or line manager may be having a bad day. They may have had an argument with their partner, the baby may have been keeping them up all night of they may have a meeting they are worried about with the head of your organisation. Their demeanour is their issue - not yours.

Put things into perspective and ask for what you want because if you don't nobody else will. It's your choice to choose what you do.

Take action and do it now because you will feel so better when you do. If you don't believe you are worth that promotion then the boss won't either!

Nicci Roscoe

www.nicciroscoe.com