There’s sense among many women that we’re getting a bit of a raw deal when it comes to workload and income. Research shows consistently that women do more work in the home (2.9 vs 5.2 hours) and get paid less in the office (24% of total remuneration).
Of course most men aren’t purposefully setting out to get the upper hand… although for anyone with a competitive streak that’s a necessary factor- male or female. The big question for me, is how can women get a little more of that competitive spirit without feeling dirty?
Let’s tackle the ‘paid less’ issue.
Meanwhile, here are my top tips for increasing your competitive urge so you feel ready to take on that conversation.
- Be Prepared. First know what you want. Then know your market worth and pitch that rather than how committed you are. If your conversation is all “I deserve” you’l come across and whiny and frankly uncompelling. Kelly offers 7 steps to Salary Negotiation in this article – a few of them are the what-exactly of Being Prepared.
- Be Confident. Take stock of all your achievements. Not so you can list them off when you’re sitting down with the boss necessarily, but so you feel better about your abilities. Creatively the market knowledge you’ll get from Kelly’s preparation tips will help with this big time too.
- Use Science. You can manipulate your hormones to induce that feeling of competitive drive. By increasing your testosterone (the risk-taking hormone) and decreasing your cortisol (the stress hormone), you’ll be statistically more likely to have that tough conversation.
If you haven’t yet heard Amy Cuddy’s TED talk, How Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are – now’s the time to tune in. If you have heard it, watch it again and share it. Which power pose works best for you? And when will you apply it? Before the big meeting, or will you ALSO use it as you’re preparing?
I’ve heard many disgruntled employees complain that “I’m overlooked” or “I didn’t get a raise / promotion / support for training I wanted”. When I delve further, they’ve not actually asked for these things that they want. Exit surveys are filled with evidence that people leave businesses thinking that what they want isn’t available… even though it really is available. Wasted opportunities.
Don’t leave money on the table. Or opportunity or flexibility or whatever it is that’s important to you. Others are asking and receiving. Why not you?
Gear up your confidence and gather your data, be clear about what you want then Ask For It!
You never know, the same strategies that work to get you more income might even work to buy you more equity in the household care department too.