By: Krystle Crossman
Women still make $.79 to every dollar that a man makes for doing the same job. Women are not promoted as much as men are. They are not given the same raises or the same opportunities in the workforce. Even though we are living in a patriarchal society women have to take some of the blame for not getting the raises that they deserve. There is a common mistake that many women make when they go to ask for a raise, if they ask for one, that can often cost them money.
Women lack a lot of self-confidence when it comes to their careers due to the lack of opportunities that are afforded to them. They feel like they are not going to get what they feel that they are worth and so they undervalue themselves. Career professionals will go into a meeting with their bosses and ask for less money than they deserve, sometimes as much as 30% less than a man would ask for. Their bosses see that they do not value themselves as they should and will often times turn them down for the raise because they feel like the woman will not fight for what she really wants. This of course is not all women and some will fight for what they deserve. A majority however go into these meetings feeling like they are not going to get what they asked for in the first place and when they hear the word no they give up.
There are different national initiatives that try to help women to obtain equal pay in the workforce but they can only do so much. In 2009 President Obama put the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into place. This act allows women to have an open discussion with their counterparts about salary without having to worry about retaliation from their employer. Celebrities in Hollywood are speaking out about the issue and some are even filing lawsuits like the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team. This help to generate talk about the issue. Many companies are also trying to help by instituting programs to help women get equal pay. Some take away the ability for employees to negotiate salary so that no one has the opportunity to get a higher salary than anyone else. All of these initiatives are helpful but the woman still need to take some of the responsibility.
When going into a meeting to discuss a raise there are some things that should be thought about beforehand. Think about what your job is and what you bring to the table. Think about the pay that you feel you deserve and really commit yourself to it. Think about the accomplishments that you have made in your current position and make sure that your boss knows just how much you are worth.