It happened again. I’m speaking to an incredibly successful career woman who told me male colleagues have told her that she practically apologizes when she tells clients her fee. This occurred on the heels of my conversation with another extremely successful corporate woman who told me she wants to ask for a raise, she knows she is underpaid but, because her salary is in the top 10% of all workers, feels embarrassed and somewhat selfish to ask for the compensation she knows her male colleagues enjoy!
During these conversations I kept asking myself: What year are we in? What century is this? Can someone please beam me back to planet Earth!
Women must begin to demand the rightful compensation they have earned and deserve. If we do not ask to get paid what we are worth – I guarantee you we won’t get it. Perhaps I need to take a step back here and ask the question: Do women, in fact, even know what they are worth? Furthermore, do women feel they deserve to get paid what they are worth? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is often “no”. Let me parallel this discussion with the fact that it is rare (I hesitate to use the word “never”) to meet a man who feels he is overpaid – even when they are outrageously overpaid! Do you think men worry about not being liked when they enter into contract negotiation(s) with their employer or clients? Do you think they are embarrassed, even when they ask for ridiculous salaries, bonuses or perks? Not at all! I’ve yet to hear a male businessman apologize for his huge salary and benefits, even while he lays off a huge percentage of his employees as part of his “cost-saving” measures!
So what is the difference between how men and women negotiate for themselves? The answer lies in the mindset with which we enter into negotiations – with this being one area where women would serve themselves well to take a page out of the male playbook. Women need to believe they are deserving of the financial compensation their work commands – and this all begins in our head – with our mindset. No one is going to advocate for your fair compensation if you won’t advocate for it yourself. Enter these negotiations armed with the factual data that shows you earned a raise or substantial bonus – and do not flinch from these facts or sound apologetic. Stand your ground while maintaining a respectful, dignified attitude.
Getting paid what you are worth begins with YOU and your mindset.
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