EARNING WHAT WE'RE WORTH - Issue #32
Because very few of us actually are….
Hello there, lovely readers!
I hope this issue finds you well and enjoying the sporadic days of sunshine we’re getting here in the UK.
In this issue I’m looking at whether women of our age (well, all women really) are being paid what they’re worth. Without much research, you can probably say a big fat YES! I’m appalled that even today - some 40 years after the original Equal Opportunities Act was passed (1972) employers and those paying our wages STILL get away with paying us less than men.
If you think about how far we’ve come in other areas of society, HOW is this allowed to happen?
As much as I don’t want to admit it, this isn’t going to be an overnight fix. If it’s taken us 40 years to see the smidgen of improvement we’ve seen (we have seen a tiny bit, haven’t we?) how long is it going to take to right this wrong?
So, what do we do? Rail against it so hard that we harm ourselves physically and mentally, or do we find other ways to skirt around the issue. Basically, using the experience of our age to make the changes that WE want to see. As my dad would say (he’s still around at age 90) there’s “more than one way to skin a cat” :)
I’ve come up against unfairness and prejudice (both in work and life) so many times, and I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to get around it and get the results you want. And all without getting on the wrong side of your opposing party.
So here’s my take on it…
The first thing you DON’T want to do is to put the other person’s/employers/whoever back up. You want them to do something for you, so you have to show them what’s in it for them. For example, when preparing your pitch for a pay rise etc, your opening statement needs to reflect that you understand their point of view and can empathise with it. So think carefully about what you’re going to say
Although empathising with your boss is a good opener, no way should you lose the impact and intention of what you want from the meeting/conversation etc. Take a deep breath and state clearly what you want - name figures, timescales and whatever else that’s needed for you to achieve your goals.
Like any good negotiation, it’s worth having a think about the lowest number you will accept ahead of the meeting That isn’t the first figure you mention to open the conversation, of course - go for as high as your ego will let you - but have this figure in your “tool box” in case you need a quick re-think. This will give you confidence knowing you have all your corners covered.
And, if at the end of the meeting deadlock has been reached - don’t cave in. Tell your boss/HR or whoever you’re speaking to, that you’re sorry you can’t reach an agreement today, but you’d like to revisit the situation and will prepare a new proposal for them.
In preparing a new proposal, if movement on figures is unlikely, then see if there’s anything that can be added to your working practices that are valuable to you. Things such as an early finish on Friday; starting later on Monday or more holidays etc.
It’s hoped that in any negotiation regarding pay you don’t have to fight as hard as the scenarios above, but if you do, then bring in these suggestions to help pave the way. At the very least they’ll give you a smidgen more confidence. And we all could do with that, couldn’t we?
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT….
A phrase that might be useful for when you’re having to knock on the door to “that” meeting. From the mouth of the woman who takes no s**t whatsoever!
May it give you the strength you need :)……
I hope this little foray into being brave in asking for more money helps. If you employ an of these suggestions and they’ve helped, drop me a line to let me know. It’s always such a pleasure to hear from readers on any subject and to do that, all you need to do is reply to this email.
I look forward to hearing from you soon. As usual, I’ll be publishing the next issue of the newsletter in a fortnight’s time, but until then stay safe, well and strong.
Till a fortnight’s time