They say nice girls don't finish first, but after watching an award-winning New York Times executive editor get fired for negotiating aggressively, it seems unlikable gals don't get (or keep) the corner office, either.
Jill Abramson's experience with the New York Times seems to be the norm for women, not the exception. That's what Catalyst, a think tank that studies women and men in the workplace to expand opportunities for women in business, has discovered. According to one study, which followed equally qualified, educated and motivated professionals, "When women did all the things they have been told will help them get ahead -- using the same tactics as men -- they still advanced less than their male counterparts and had slower pay growth."
Could Abramson have taken a different tack and seen different results? Or, is the deck just stacked against women in the workplace? Either way, as they say in poker, you can only play the hand you've been dealt. Read on to uncover the steps you can take to find out what you're worth in the workplace and how to do everything you can to get the pay deserve.
- Know You're Valued by Your Team. Before you can negotiate, know that your work is highly regarded by your boss and colleagues. If it's not, start by upping your job skills and managing your workplace reputation. Ask colleagues, bosses and employees to complete an evaluation of how you function as a team member and how important your individual contributions are to your business unit. Negotiation is most effective when you have something compelling -- like positive work performance -- to offer.
Most bosses won't automatically boost your pay unless you ask -- in a way that garners respect. Before negotiating, come to the table prepared for the discussion with your market value, replacement value and any other competing career opportunities that may be on the horizon. Only you are responsible for knowing your value and insisting you're paid what you're worth.