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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Before Asking Your Boss For A Raise

Unsurprisingly, women's hesitance to fight for their worth has become a troubling hallmark of corporate culture. According to a recent survey by Glassdoor, 68% of women accept the first offer made by future employers, versus 52% of men. Compound these stats with the austere realities of entrenched wage inequality, in which women earned as little as 83% of what men did in 2015 (that gap becomes even larger when applied to women of color), and you've got quite an upward climb towards shaping the conversation surrounding money.

Professional women's reluctance to initiate these tricky dialogues is a predictable symptom of the broader ways that we're socialized: We're taught to accommodate others before tending to our own desires. Of course, these deep-rooted feelings influence our approach at the office, where women are significantly less likely to tackle large assignments with murky probabilities for success.

"We may gravitate towards those projects that we know we'll finish on time and complete perfectly. But we're hesitant about tasks that we could possibly fail at, though those are of course the ones that stretch our talents and challenge us to develop new skills." These factors naturally amplify the maddening double-bind that has plagued trailblazers both real and fictional — from Miranda Priestly to HRC: an impossible dichotomy that denounces women who ask for more as "pushy" or "bossy," but simultaneously scorns those who don't speak up and are inevitably passed over for advancement.

"It's difficult to talk about earning because we don't want to feel less worthy than other people, who potentially make more than we do, and vice versa," she observes. "We've gotten into this destructive pattern of collapsing our self-worth with our net worth, but really your salary is just how your services are valued in the market right now." And when you strip money of its power to dictate your worth as a person, it's suddenly much easier to share your wealth of professional knowledge with other women.

Never sacrifice your own earning potential to preserve a relationship with an employer who isn't willing to competitively reward your talents. One pivotal benefit of having robust savings is the freedom to leave a stagnant position and test your value in the marketplace. "If you feel confident in your financial wellness, and you know that you're not getting paid what you deserve, it's very powerful to have the confidence to walk away. You shouldn't have to settle for less."

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