Women: Get Paid Your Worth

If you’re a woman anywhere in the world, you are probably earning less than you should be. Recent calculations suggest that it may take nearly 100 years before there is equal pay between men and women. However, instead of becoming despondent, perhaps it’s time for women to be a little bolder in chasing the pay they deserve.

Imagine that you don’t chase and negotiate a pay rise, but a male colleague does. In 35 years’ time, you will have to work eight more years to be as wealthy as him at retirement. Eight more years. When you look at it that way, it seems ridiculous to let embarrassment or modesty prevent you from having the conversation. Here are five tips for learning how to not only stick to your guns, but finally ask for what you’re worth.

Earn it first. Ask second

Exceed all expectations. Do whatever you can do to prove you are dedicated and valuable to the company. Then when you ask for the raise, you come from a place of confidence in the abilities and knowledge you bring to the table.

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Know your worth

No one will ever pay you what you’re worth: they will only pay you what they think you’re worth. You can control their thinking by clearly defining and communicating your value. First know that you’re really good at what you do, then work out your commercial worth, based on your experience and strengths. Finally, sell yourself based on your personal branding. Believe in yourself because you’re a valuable asset.

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Be a savvy negotiator

Learning to ask for what you want in low-pressure situations will allow you to breeze through negotiations when they count – practice is crucial. Learning how to engage with your body language and tone is also key. Remember to come from a place of contribution, not need. You’re on the same team as your boss before you walk into the meeting and you will be on the same team when you leave. It’s a negotiation – not a plea or a battle. Focus on the mutual win.

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Don’t make it personal

Your boss doesn’t care that your rent has increased by £300. Instead of focusing on why you need the money, keep the focus on your value. Write down all the ways in which you add value to the company and provide your boss with a one-sheet to keep the focus on your contributions.

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Try the ‘Oprah’ rule

So-what if, after all that, it goes terribly? Don’t allow the rejection to sour your attitude. The ‘Oprah’ rule is always to end a conversation positively. When people take parting shots or have-to have the last word, it seeds the next conversation with negativity. Find strength in the setback and learn how to redirect the conversation at the right time. For great long-term relationships, like Oprah, end positively.

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We’ve got to put aside our awkwardness and not undercut what we are really worth, based on what we think someone will accept. Men never do this. The truth is no one is ever going to care as much about your career as you will, so advocating for yourself is non-negotiable.

Be bold, take the lead and know your worth.

Edwina Dunn is Founder of The Female Lead – Send a free copy of The Female Lead book to any UK or US school here 

Edwina Dunn on How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Thrive Studio – 14.30 – 15.10 – Friday 9th November