Do This One Thing. Make More Money
How much money you make is correlated to how much you think you're worth. So if you want a raise, the first step is to change your attitude about your professional monetary value.
If you're a man, you probably thought: "Sure! That's easy. I'm worth more than anyone else in the office. I'm going to tell the boss my major accomplishments and ask for more money."
If you're a woman, you probably thought: "I'm entitled to equal pay. I shouldn't have to ask for it. You should pay me for my performance and not because I brag about what I do."
Here's a hard, cold fact of corporate life: Men are good at salary negotiation. Women are not. And that's one reason women tend to make less money than men. Men see salary negotiations as a chance to advance their own interests. Women worry a hard-driving discussion about dollars and cents will damage their reputation or relationships.
Most women have a real problem putting a monetary value on their professional worth and then taking that information--and the sassy attitude that goes with it--to the boss and negotiating for a salary that reflects that number. At least, that's the conclusion of new and potentially controversial research from the University of California at Irvine.
Lead researcher Lisa Barron, a professor of organizational behavior, found that fully 85 percent of men do put a dollar value on their professional worth, while 83 percent of women said they were not comfortable doing that. In fact, women perceive tough salary bargaining will harm their relationship with their manager. ''What this really is about is this whole concept of thinking of yourself in terms of monetary worth,'' Barron told The Boston Globe. ''Some of them [the women] definitely did not like it. They didn't seem to be comfortable with it.''
When Barron conducted mock job interviews with graduating MBA students, these were typical comments by gender:
Man: "I'm not a typical entry [employee]." Another said, "I'm not a standard student, and I don't think that I should be categorized in that same range of capability and therefore salary."
Woman: "I am very similar to my peers." Another said: "As long as I'm making the average, that's all I really care about. But making the average does matter. Because I don't want to feel like a chump."
How much we make this year has an effect on how much we make the rest of our lives. A study by the Older Women's League finds that over a lifetime, women make on average $550,000 less than men. That means they get $2,100 less each year in Social Security benefits. That means they have saved less money in retirement plans. That means their pension is lower. That means they may have to work more years before being able to retire.
The study findings were published in Human Relations Magazine.