Why Only 2% Of Women Plan To Ask For A Raise This Year

 ask for a raise in 2013

A discussion group on LinkedIn recently answered the question: What's your career resolution for 2013? Of the five options given to the LinkedIn group Connect, which is powered by Citi, the most commonly chosen (as of this writing) was "find a new job" (36 percent). The runner-up was "learn new career skills" (29 percent) followed by "build my network" (25 percent). Only 2 percent of respondents resolved to ask for a raise.

I find it interesting that the number who'd ask for a raise is that low. One of the reasons that people look for a new job is to make more money, and one reason to learn new career skills is to boost your earning potential. Building your network can help bring in more work (and more money). So why is directly asking for more money so unpopular?

Partly because the economy is rough, and many people feel lucky to have a job (or multiple steady gigs). But also because asking for a raise in pay is awkward. While our society is obsessed with money, there's not much transparency about it.

Unless you work for an organization with a salary scale, figuring out what people in similar positions earn involves a lot of intelligence gathering. We have lots of taboos toward talking about money, but this serves to keep people in the dark. And when people are in the dark, we tend to revert to cultural assumptions. As I wrote in my post, "The Princess Problem," women in particular seem prone to believe that the company will choose what to pay us, and this is what we are worth. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to have a certain number they'd like to earn, and then view it as their responsibility to get an organization to pay that over time.

More: Secrets To Getting A Raise That Your Boss Won't Tell You

So what to do? I'm a big fan of professional networks in this case. I belong to the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and one of their services is regular paycheck reports that share what different publications pay. This can help in negotiations.

Also, you can always be a little bit on the market (or in the case of freelancers, be willing to say no). Nothing induces an employer to cough up a raise like the possibility of seeing a valued employee walk out.

There are also parallels to discussing other taboo subjects. Sexuality educators tell parents not to focus on one "big talk" with their children about the birds and the bees, because this can be overwhelming and awkward. Instead, you work the subject into regular conversations so that it's on the table. Likewise, any performance review can feature a conversation about what you need to do to earn a raise by your next performance review. Regular check-ins with a supervisor can focus on questions like: "How can I best add value to this department? What do you see as most important?" This lays the groundwork for focusing on these things and then being able to show, directly, how you've brought in more revenue or saved your organization cash.

Have you ever asked for a raise?


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14 Comments

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lklex

On AOL, it's women, women, women. What about men, those who account for 92% of workplace fatalities in the U.S.?

January 15 2013 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to lklex's comment
Yvonne

Yea...You guys have had your cake for many many years. Lets give the other geder a chance. Heck, wasn't long ago in history women were given the right to vote. Now we can be bosses and choose when we want kids...it's awesome. Who knows what else we'll accomplish.

January 15 2013 at 8:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alanna

Well I can tell you it doesn't matter how many times we have asked....NC teachers are not even getting their experience increases and haven't in 5 years. We have had everything increased on us except the pay. So how do we get our legislatures to stop voting themselves raises before they can pay what was promised to state workers?

January 15 2013 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lapislazulijumi

It also tends to depend on the sort of business you're working in. If you're in retail or fast food, for instance (on the floor level, not corporate), trying to ask for a raise is a 50/50 gamble. You might get that raise- or you might get shown where the door is because you're completely replaceable. Said fear gets greater the older you are in that kind of environment. A 30 year old worker asking for a raise in a department store or supermarket has a better chance of being informed if they want more money- they can find a job somewhere else. They'll just hire a high schooler/college kid to work in their stead that they can pay even less to. Or perhaps a handicapped or elderly worker they can get some sort of reward for hiring- anyone is more desirable than someone in that 'slip through the cracks' area of late twenties to late fourties who wants more money. And there are a lot of people stuck in those jobs who can't afford to lose them. So- asking for a raise is the last thing many of them are going to do.

January 15 2013 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erin

I've been working at my job for almost 4 years and have asked for (and gotten) multiple raises. I also threatened to walk out (I did have another offer) and was given a hefty raise. Not sure why people are so awkward about it...if you do a good job, you should be rewarded. Don't ask for it if you know you don't deserve it...

January 15 2013 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Group

Where is this money going to come from ? Obama ?

January 15 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Group's comment
ibe1grump

Why not. He has money (ours) for everything else.

January 15 2013 at 6:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
burthurt

A raise , MUHAHAHA

January 15 2013 at 11:15 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
mikelookup

If you notice the article just above this one, is about the city with 27% unemployment. How ironic is that!

January 15 2013 at 7:09 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
mksrs

The last raise I had was 8 years ago. If I get one this year I will still make less then I did last year with the tax and insurance increase that started the first of this year.

January 14 2013 at 5:35 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mksrs's comment
cesarvis

so true! Even with my small raises I am making less every year, this year is starting off the be the worst hit yet

January 15 2013 at 1:53 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
papajokr

Brace yourself people. We will all be part time soon or unemployed. Be sure to thank your Obama voters for it too.

January 14 2013 at 12:35 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to papajokr's comment
ibe1grump

You mean like Steven Spielberg, Matt Damon, the Jolie/Pitts and the others that have more money than brains and don't have to work for a living?

January 15 2013 at 6:12 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
leighdavisl

We should thank Bush first.....and his voters.

January 15 2013 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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