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Don't Ask, Don't Get: Five Reasons Why Women Don't Get Payrises

10/03/2017 08:36
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all women everywhere

1) Cinderella Syndrome
Women are raised to be modest. Work hard. Get noticed. Get rewarded.

Not being noticed? Work harder!

Men are taught to big themselves up and be assertive (behaviour that is often seen as aggressive when women do it) in asking for appropriate rewards. They prioritise self-marketing and networking to build social capital. Women, particularly working mothers or those who have other caring responsibilities, can't, don't or won't make the time to build their corporate brand and market themselves internally and to a broader potential employer base.

2) Imposter Syndrome
Deep down , many women fear they are not worth more. That, in truth, they're a fraud. They'll be found out. They don't really know what they're talking about.

They are not...they won't...and they do. Every one of us has a unique bundle of experience to bring to our roles, and we need to learn its value.

3) Misunderstanding absolute worth
But nobody has an absolute value. We each have a value in that role, at that time, in that organisation. The CEO of a large international public company can earn 100 times that which the CEO of a large international not-for-profit earns. Bankers can take a 90% pay cut to go into teaching. Same person, different organisation, different role. You need to do your homework on your organisation, your sector and your job. Importantly, you need to know what it would cost to replace you. If you don't know your fair value, you can't ask for it.

4) Poor negotiation skills
Many women don't prepare for the ask. Don't time it to coincide with a success. Don't request a specific meeting and forewarn of the agenda. Don't rehearse the arguments and the potential objections.

And they confuse deserve with need.

Your boss doesn't care that your rent has gone up and you need a new car. He - most of the time it will still be a 'he' - needs to hear what you've made happen,what you've achieved, what value you've uniquely added:

'I've done X. I will have achieved Y by September. I deserve £xx now and another 10% in 6 months'. Not 'I need an extra £50 a month to cover my rent increase.'

5) Fear of Rejection
Women hate to hear the word 'no'. Many would rather not even discuss the possibility of a rise for fear of being turned down. We all need to learn to love 'no'.

It means you're having the conversation. And gives you the chance to find out what you need to have done -by when - to turn that 'no' into a 'yes'.

Or, worst case, to learn that you've reached your earning ceiling in that company and it's time to look elsewhere to get the payrise you deserve , but which your current organisation perhaps can't afford.

Remember: your boss isn't psychic. If you don't speak you can't be heard!

Stevie Spring has been on both sides of pay negotiations more times than she cares to remember during a 35 year executive career that included being CEO of two International Media Groups. She is now Chairman of remuneration and reward for three companies who jointly employ well over 100,000 people.

Stevie will be leading a session on "How to get a Payrise" on Friday March 10th at 11:30am as part of Southbank Centre's WOW - Women of the World festival, supported by Bloomberg.

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today

Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com

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