The gender pay gap and inequality between men and women is constantly in the press and how, even though women are making great achievements in their careers, they are not always getting the financial recognition they deserve.
One of the reasons for this is that women are less likely than men to put themselves forward for promotions or negotiate for higher salaries.
So what is stopping us from being able to confidently ask for what we want and get it (most of the time)?
Here we look at the reasons behind why women find it difficult to ask for more money and give you some great tips on the right way to ask for a pay rise.
Why Are Women Less Confident In Asking For A Pay Rise?
There are many reasons why women are reluctant to ask for a salary increase or promotion, some of which includes:
1. Women Are Naturally Giving
We are more givers than takers.
One of the explanations for pay inequality surrounds our culture and upbringing; often women learn that to be self-serving isn’t ‘nice’ or ‘polite’ and therefore it feels very uncomfortable.
2. Wrong Perception of Salary Negotiation
Another reason is, for women it’s difficult to get the balance between being passive and aggressive, if you don’t negotiate you’re being too feminine and earn less and if you do, you’re too aggressive and may be disliked.
3. Gender Differences
When it comes to applying for promotions, research has shown that women are biologically different from men in having the confidence to take a risk.
This was demonstrated when a group of volunteers were shown a job description for a role which would be a promotion and asked if they would apply.
The men were confident to apply if they believed they could deliver 60% of the job description; however the women had to be nearly 100% sure before they would consider it.
How to Ask for a Pay Rise Confidently
Whether you want to influence your boss, convince an interviewer or your potential clients, having the confidence to step out of your comfort zone and being able to phrase your request properly is important.
Why? Because people will interpret the way you communicate as a measure of your confidence and self-belief and use this to determine whether to agree to your request or not.
Here are some great tips to help ask for a pay rise or promotion confidently
1. Do your Research
If you’re going to negotiate a pay rise or a starting salary, ensure you know your market value. Carrying out a research will help further your understanding and boost your confidence.
2. Step out of your Comfort Zone
If you find it difficult to take a risk, build your confidence first with small challenges and remember, if you do nothing, nothing will change.
3. Use Assertive Language
This means sticking to the facts, using ‘I’ statements and asking clearly for what you would like.
For example, “There is a new role being advertised in marketing, I believe I’m ready to make that move and I would like your support to apply.”
Being assertive will help you build on that self-confidence to express your ideas and views in a clear, concise and persuasive manner.
4. Avoid Apologising and Softening your Request
Being polite is important but using phrases such as “if you don’t mind” or “would it be okay if I asked you…” dilute your request and your confidence.
Avoiding these confidence killers can make a huge difference to your self-confidence and help present your ideas in a persuasive manner.
5. Don’t Feel Guilty:
Asking for something you want whilst still showing the other party respect is not selfish, instead it shows you value yourself and the contribution you’re making to the organisation’s success.
6. Get Clarity on a Negative Response
If you don’t get the agreement you were looking for, rather than reacting negatively ask for some clarity.
For example, using a phrase such as “I’d like to understand the reasons for your decision?” or “Can you give me some specific feedback on how I can become ready for that position?” is a brilliant way to encourage constructive feedback.
Having confidence and a clear voice is an extremely important skill that will stand you in good stead not only in asking for a pay rise or a promotion but throughout your personal and professional life.
Go ahead and make things happen.
Over to You
Have you asked for a pay rise and got it? Or do you feel that you are always being overlooked in favour of your male colleagues? Share your experiences with us, we’d love to hear from you.