Using tools to increase your salary.
By Jenny Hoff, Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona
There is no one solution when it comes to closing the wage gap; societal norms, changes in business structures and regulations may all play a role in achieving that goal. While you may not be able to control these overarching issues, there are ways you can work toward increasing your own salary for greater equity in the workplace.
Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate.
Multiple studies have shown women are less likely to ask for a raise than men. That doesn’t mean they don’t know their self-worth, but rather they believe that a manager or boss will recognize that worth and offer an increase in pay without being asked. Unfortunately, that’s not their job. A manager’s job is often to get the most amount of talent and productivity from someone for close to the lowest amount they’ll be willing to take for that work. Nearly every single position has a salary range, and your job is to make sure you’re not on the low end. While asking for an increase may feel intimidating, you can make it more comfortable by doing some research, learning the market rates for your position and utilizing online resources like glassdoor.com, where former and current employees anonymously post their salaries for positions like yours.
Another way to find out what you should or could be making is by asking other people in your industry. Austin has a myriad of networking groups for almost any industry. Find one tailored to your profession or the job you want to work in and see if you can join. You not only find potential new job opportunities, but gain the wisdom from others who have been in your position. Some great networking groups you could join include Austin Women in Technology, Austin Professional Women, Austin Women’s Network, Austin Women Entrepreneurs and Women Who Code Austin. These groups are dedicated to offering mentoring opportunities, advice, resources and information to help you better succeed in your career.
Develop your skills.
The rarer you can make your skillset, the higher price you can demand. Even if you’ve worked in an industry for many years, there are ancillary skills that could make you an even more valuable employee. From taking online courses at Coursera or another online platform to utilizing in-person programs in Austin, you can level up your skills within a few months.
Lend a hand.
Perhaps you’re in a position to help someone else further their career, either through a managerial position or mentorship. Or maybe you’re someone who knows how to ask for more money. Instead of keeping that information to yourself, find some female colleagues and show them the way. Join the groups and give insight into your salary so that, armed with more information, other women can ask for the same. If you’re a manager, commit to fair wages for your staff that are on par with the position and their experience.
If it’s hard for you to ask for a raise or network in order to increase your salary, think of it in broader terms. Other women who see you taking these steps will find the wherewithal to do it themselves; the person who takes your old position might get to start at a higher salary. You can better serve your community and family by earning what you’re worth.