Regina Barr, President, Red Ladder Inc., Founder, Women at the Top®, Moneyweave® Academy Board Member
1. ANALYZE YOUR OUTPUT
When you ask for the money you deserve, be aware of the value you bring to an organization. And when I say organization, I’m not referring to your workplace. Women are often stuck doing jobs no one else wants to do. There may be times when it seems like they’re left with the dirty work, to the point of being taken advantage of by others. This can be detrimental to a woman’s well-being. Women automatically assume responsibility and train future generations of women to do this too. It’s important to learn to differentiate between a real need and a “let’s just have her do it” attitude.
2. VALUE YOUR WORK
Analyze, track, and document the value you bring to the organization. I have advised my clients to keep a log of how each of their efforts has impacted the mission, vision, and bottom line both at work and home.
Most women wear multiple hats. They’re cooks, cleaners, tutors, organizers, shoppers, money managers, vacation planners, and much more. They care for children, spouses, parents, and animals; they’re on-call nurses 24 hours a day. Women are unaware of all the jobs they’re doing so well and just how valuable they are. If they tried to hire out all those jobs, it would cost a fortune. The real challenge is getting women to see just how valuable they are. Maybe it’s time to become more self-aware.
3. ACCEPT PRAISE WHEN IT’S OFFERED
Women often respond in self-deprecating ways when they receive compliments. If someone compliments her on her cooking skills, she may respond, “Yeah, but you know I’m not a good baker.” Nobody mentioned anything about baking. If a woman receives a compliment about how great a job they did on a project, she might respond with, “My team did the heavy lifting.” She totally sidestepped to shine the light on the team.
Downplaying compliments isn’t uncommon among women and there are several reasons for this. Women tend to avoid self-promotion because they feel that it makes them come across as dominant or arrogant. But there are ways to overcome self-deprecating behavior. A good place to start: Listen to the little voice inside your head that negates a compliment. Then, bite your tongue, smile, and say, “Thank you.”
4. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT
There’s no point in focusing on what you’re not good at. It holds you back. Women have a tendency to focus on what they don’t excel in. Instead of saying, “I’m excellent at doing this, this, and this, and that is why I should make more money” they often end up saying, “Well you know, I’m not really that good at this and this.”
Volunteering negative information about yourself is never a good idea. I prepare my clients to respond positively to negative comments they might receive by saying, “I’m not sure about that but I know I excel in these areas.” Then, list two or three of your strongest value-driven, bottom-line impacting skills.
5. THROW YOUR HAT IN THE RING MORE OFTEN
The confidence gap between men and women can surface as soon as a job is advertised. A man will most likely apply for a position if he has six of the 10 job requirements. A woman will most likely not apply unless she has all 10 requirements, or if the job posting mentions that all requirements aren’t necessary.
When clients come to me disenchanted with their ability to move forward in their careers, I ask them about their application process. Invariably they tell me they are missing qualifications for the desired jobs, even if they have seven of the requirements. These clients are C-Suite women, and they still feel they need a 10 out of the 10 requirements. In my experience, 99% of the time when they put themselves forward with seven out of the ten requirements, these women get the job.
6. NEGOTIATE ON YOUR OWN BEHALF
“Get out of your own head. Let the other party weigh in and have an opportunity to tell you what they are thinking. Put yourself out there. Don’t take yourself out of the running. Let them take you out of the running.” This is a mindset issue, not a competence thing at all.
Negotiation is a skill that will pay off in all areas of a woman’s life, not just at work. The differential in pay equity over the course of a woman’s career is significant. If they started working at age 25 and retired at 65, they leave about half a million dollars on the table. That comes out to about $12,500 a year. I don’t know about you, but I can think of a lot of things that I can do with an additional $12,500 a year, or half a million at the end of my career.
CONSIDER THE LONG-TERM IMPACT
The impact of not having pay equity is substantial. Not asking for what you’re worth and not earning what you’re worth could have a devastating impact on your spending power in the short-term and your long-term financial security. If women thought about pay equity outside of themselves and realized that they may be putting their families at risk, they’d do something about it. They would pay more attention to this issue, and we might have more traction behind it.
It’s time to learn new solutions and strategies for getting the money you deserve and leveling that ‘Paying’ Field.
Want to learn more about how you can Earn What You’re Worth? Visit ReginaBarr.com to learn more about Regina Barr and her events, blogs, videos, and other resources on this subject and more.
Speaker. Coach. Consultant.
“Dream Big. Take Action. Make It Happen.”
President, Red Ladder Inc.
Founder, Women at the Top®
Moneyweave® Academy Board Member