These 5 Women Asked for Raises - And Got Them!

professional skills

Asking for a raise can be intimidating, but these five women were able to do it and get positive results. Keep reading to learn about their approaches.

Asking for a Raise

There are many reasons why it may be time to ask your boss for a raise - you've taken on more responsibilities, you go above and beyond with your work, or maybe you were underpaid to start out with. No matter how justified the raise may be, talking to management isn't easy.

With the gender pay gap being an ongoing issue, the conversation can be particularly difficult for women. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, for every dollar a man earned in 2017, a woman made 80.5 cents.

These five women share their stories of how they stood up for themselves and successfully got raises.

Being Prepared for the Conversation

''When I was a vice president at a PR agency, I asked for more money during my annual review, which was at 18 months vs. 12 months. I was at this company for 7.5 years, and this raise was the lowest I'd ever received percentage wise. I was thoroughly confused because I had met every single one of my goals that had been in place, in addition to helping win a major piece of business for the company. I scheduled a follow up call with my boss (the company CEO) to discuss. I raised that I had met all my goals, helped win the piece of business, and it was 18 months vs. 12 months since my last raise. She asked how much more I wanted, I told her, and she made it happen. It was a lot easier than I had imagined, but I definitely put in a lot of effort to prepare for the conversation.''

-Charlotte Maumus,

A woman at a meeting

Using Facts to Make a Case

''When I was working as the chair of an academic department, my list of responsibilities grew with each passing month. I initially worked to manage all the tasks to show I was a team player, but soon realized that I was being overworked and underpaid. I scheduled a meeting with my supervisor and presented facts concerning the new tasks and the time required. I made sure only to use facts so that there was less room for debate. I also avoided the word 'raise' and instead, I used the phrase 'my salary no longer matches the demands of my job.' My boss said he had to think about it, and one week later, he agreed. The lesson I learned was simply to not be afraid to ask.''

-Danielle Bayard Jackson, Stride Media Group

Being in Control During the Conversation

''I asked for a raise because, after two years of extremely strong performance reviews and being the top person at my level based on both objective and subjective measures, I found out I was being paid less than some of my peers. It was not the salary amount that I felt was unfair, but the fact that others were being paid more than me while I drove much more revenue for the law firm and was far more dedicated.

I changed the power dynamic. I asked for a meeting with the managing partner and let him know I'd like to have a discussion about compensation. I started our meeting by telling the managing partner that I was pleased that my performance and contributions were acknowledged in my review and I want to make sure my compensation would reflect my contribution and my market value. I slowed down my speech, took notes, and did not reduce my contributions. I maintained control by mapping out my dialogue to every response.

I received almost all of what I requested and thought the final number was fair and appropriate.''


A woman has a conversation with management

Holding Management Accountable

''Early on in my career, I was hired for a high-level job, something to the equivalent of a director level job, but they did not want to grant me the pay or the title to go with it. I couldn't stand it, so I learned how to fight for it. I saved a copy of the job description and salary info and pulled it out every time they revisited why they 'couldn't' give me the title or the pay.

I would say, 'Happy to be here and I'm excited about this opportunity, but I'm confused. Are we talking about this job?' I was able to hold them accountable without getting angry or challenging their authority. If we push back against authority, it comes back twice as hard at us. But, if we acknowledge it, then it dissolves.

Using this approach, I more than doubled my pay. And I got the title too.''

-Jennifer Way, CEO/Founder, Way Solutions

A woman works on her computer

Seeing If a Company Will Invest in You

''When I knew I wanted to be a part of Glamping Hub for the long run I asked for a raise. I was fully invested with my time and I wanted to know if they were just as invested in me. I also waited until I was a part of the company for a full year.

I approached it as an evaluation. Before asking for the raise directly, I asked: How do you feel about my work this past year? Is this a good fit and is this working out? I wanted to know if I was a valuable team member and if they saw me as a part of Glamping Hub's future.

It was the first raise I have ever asked for so I did not ask for a certain amount. I wanted the financial gain, but it was also important to me to know how invested Glamping Hub was in me as well. Win-win!''

-Amy Ahlblad, Partnerships Manager, Glamping Hub

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*Submissions were edited for clarity and length

By Jessica Lyons
November 2018
professional skills engagement & retention

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