Do the Work: No Excuses. No Limits was the theme of a conference I recently attended. What happens after you do the work on yourself? How do you push for that raise or promotion after you have proven yourself deserving? It always puzzles me how timid women of color can be when asking to be paid their worth. It is even more puzzling that the gender wage gap still exists. On average, women make 79 cents to a man’s dollar. Women of color are earning even less, coming in at around 61 cents. It is time that we demand equal pay and here are a few ways to start the conversation and close gap.
Research- Although you can’t go around asking folks at your job how much they are bringing home, you can research the national average for your position. This will give you a leg to stand on when you approach your boss. It will also give you realistic expectations. You can be the baddest pillow fluffer around but that does not warrant you asking to make 500k when most make 50k.
Drop bugs- Share your future goals for yourself within the company with your superiors casually and ask for feedback. While you’re receiving valuable feedback that you can use as leverage, you’re also letting them know that you are serious about your position. No company wants to invest in an employee that is not invested in them.
Talk to your mentor- It is 2019, if you do not know the importance of having a mentor; I don’t know what to tell you! Your mentor will guide you along the process. Make sure you are open to constructive criticism and execute the advice they give you (that is when you find a mentor that genuinely believes in you and understands your future goals and has been through their own experiences themselves) Listen to them! (PERIODT)
Prepare/ Practice- Write down what you do for your company. Visualize what you’re going to say when you have your meeting. Ask your mentor (here’s the “M” word again) to have a mock meeting with you. The more practice you get, the more comfortable you will be saying your pitch in the presence of the people who make the decisions.
Timing- All jobs are structured differently but most have some sort of review period. I find it the easiest to ask for a raise during annual reviews. After you receive your astonishing review, go for it! Closed mouths do not get fed.
DO NOT- Talk about what your counter parts are/ are not doing or what someone else makes. That will make you look bitter. Worry about yourself and focus on why you deserve that position. With that being said, NEVER talk about what you need. We all need to make more money because we need to pay bills. It is not your employers business what you NEED nor do they care. Focus on showing them what you’re worth and what you bring to the table.
Stick to your guns- The worst thing you can hear is no. If you are not willing to stick it out, be prepared to explore other options. If your company is not willing to pay you what you deserve, find a company that will! Negotiate your new salary like a BOSS!
You can schedule a meeting, phone call, whatever. However you chose to ask for a raise or promotion, JUST DO IT! The bottom line is men, Asian women, and White women are making more money than women of color and we know we deserve better. Be confident, be courageous, put your big girl panties on and get what should already be yours!