How to Confidently Score a Raise in a Male-Dominated Office When You're Female

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It’s disappointing to hear about the wage gap between men and women from the media, but it’s even more upsetting when you personally experience it. Men often earn more money than women in the business world, even when they lack the skills, education, and workplace duties that female colleagues have. This is unfair, and it may create tension and resentment at the office. Before you draft your resignation letter, attempt to land the income increase you deserve by following the tips below.

Research Salaries for Your Industry

Is your annual salary comparable to other workers in your field, or is it significantly lower? The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to find general information about salary averages from more than 800 different industries. Visit a reputable site like Glassdoor, which currently contains millions of reviews, if you’re hoping to find specific information about employees who work for your company. Glassdoor collects anonymous data from current and previous employees, as well as people who interviewed for positions but weren’t hired.

Even if you bring in more than the average pay for your field, that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a raise. Use the rates you find as a starting point for negotiation when you meet with your boss, then factor in your experience and any special training you’ve received. You should also consider your benefits package; a high annual salary with no benefits is not necessarily better than a lower salary that includes 2 weeks of paid vacation and company-funded contributions to a retirement plan.

Don’t Throw Coworkers Under the Bus

Some companies have strict rules that prevent employees from discussing their wages with other workers. If you mention that multiple employees in your department earn more than you, even though they’ve been there less time, you might get some of your colleagues in trouble. Even if your boss doesn’t reprimand them for sharing their salaries, your coworkers might still find out that you shared information that they trusted you to keep to yourself.

You should also avoid griping about coworkers during the meeting for your raise request. Now is not the time to bring up how the guy in the next cubicle takes 16 cigarette breaks a day (ummm, not that you’re counting or anything) or the man in the office next to yours spends hours on the phone with his wife. Make it your goal to make yourself look good rather than make fellow employees look bad. Besides, your boss might wonder why you have enough free time to monitor your coworkers so closely if you claim you deserve a raise. Instead, suggest ways to increase productivity, or save time/money.

Share Specific Accomplishments

Don’t be modest when you meet with your supervisor to discuss your raise request. You deserve a salary that reflects your skills and effort, and you can convey that by showing your boss how much you accomplish while you’re on the clock. Make a list of awards you’ve received from your industry, and include information about positive client feedback. Figures are also helpful; consider making a graph or chart that details the number of clients, projects, or sales you’ve helped with throughout the year.

If you’re tech-savvy, make a PowerPoint presentation that showcases why you rock at your current position. A brief video is another option, especially if you work in a creative field. Pretend you’re reapplying for your initial position and mention traits that make you a dedicated, talented employee. You should also bring up any training you’ve completed since you obtained your position, such as college courses or local seminars, as this additional education helps you excel in your field.

However, don’t forget to brag about your coworkers a bit too. This helps you look like a team player. You don’t have to spend your meeting talking about your coworkers, but it might benefit you to mention a few good things about them before you schedule a meeting with your boss.

Start a Business of Your Own

For working women, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating. Many women have been forced out of their traditional 9-to-5 jobs by the pandemic. Maybe you had a job you loved before the pandemic, or perhaps you’re not very happy in your current role and it isn’t worth it to ask for a promotion or a raise. Either way, you can take control of your career by exploring entrepreneurship.

When you begin your entrepreneurial journey, you’ll have to put a lot of working into getting your business off the ground! You can get started by outlining your operating agreement through ZenBusiness to help structure and organize your LLC, which will give you access to an array of benefits ranging from tax breaks to asset protection. By filing through the cheapest formation service online, you’ll get professional guidance and save time and money.

Asking for a raise can be stressful, especially if you’re a woman in a male-dominated field. Remember your worth - and make sure your boss knows how valuable you are as well - so that you can confidently request the money you deserve.

An article by Gloria Martinez


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