Barbara Corcoran, the Shark Tank judge, says women often "devalue themselves and initially don't price themselves properly."
I beg to differ. This has not been my personal and professional experience, nor has it been the experience of many (most?) of the women with whom I have worked professionally over the course of many decades.
This is a slippery slope, and while it has a logical ring to it that people want to believe and want to buy into, it is unfortunately fashioned on the same theory that for decades has placed women in the role of having to be experts at self breast examination in order to discover any life threatening cancer cells lurking in their tissues.
In other words, if a woman doesn't get the raise and promotion she wants, it's her
fault for not asking, or not asking in the right way, or not presenting herself correctly, or not being assertive or confident enough.
So, too, if a woman doesn't do a proper self exam, at the right time of the month, every month, and fails to notice what could potentially be a malignancy, then it's her
fault if a cancer goes unnoticed and untreated.
I do understand the belief system that blames women for lack of opportunity, for not getting the promotions they want and deserve and for significantly lower wages - this phenomenon known as unequal pay for equal work. Culturally that belief system manages to neatly sweep under the rug what has become a stark cultural acceptance of this status quo and many people like it that way and benefit from it.
In A Woman's De-Liberation: There Never Was a Sexual Revolution,
I wrote about my own experiences as a young executive at CBS Records in New York and what happened when I confronted management about my salary after discovering that the man who had been fired so I could replace him
had been making significantly more money than I was offered. (http://giselleminoli.com/writing/?p=1644
The reasons were varied, infuriating and amusing all at once: He is married, he has a mortgage and a family,
being the more luminous of the reasons I was offered.
I was also told not to make an issue of it, that when I proved my worth (I had already proved my worth, having won a boatload of awards, which is the reason I had been offered
the job) my salary would be increased and that, and I love this one, "Money isn't everything."
No, it isn't. If you are a rich woman. Or financially independent by virtue of a trust fund or family money. Or you are happy being supported by a sugar daddy.
But if you work hard, are good at what you do, have something to offer the organization for which you work, are honorable, dedicated, trustworthy and add value, then
money matters a great deal, particularly if the organization is for profit.
There are many times I, and many men and women I know, have chosen to work for less, or for free, for causes and organizations we believe in that are non-profit. That is a different matter.
But when it comes to being paid...and paying
an employee...each of us has a choice.
If you are a woman and you ask for what you want and what you are worth, don't let anyone tell you that if you don't get it then it is because you weren't assertive enough, didn't ask in the right tone of voice, weren't confident enough, or didn't lay out in a convincing enough manner the bona fide reasons for getting the promotion or raise that you have set your sights on.
And if you are an employer, you can make sure
that when you hire a woman that she is paid what she is worth for the job that she is doing and that she is properly awarded for her accomplishments. Don't let yourself off the hook by thinking, "Hey, I know deep down inside this is wrong, she deserves it, but, I'm going to play the game and make her beg and then I'll still say No." Don't be that person. Because Karma.
Patricia Arquette discussed this in her live interview on Huff Post:"The demographics changed in America. We have only 30 percent of families living in the traditional 'dad is the breadwinner, mom stays home' mode. Right now, we have 66 million women and children living in poverty. Half of those ... would not be living in poverty if their moms were paid a full dollar [to a man's dollar]. So the number one thing we could at this moment for child poverty ... is to make sure their moms get paid a full dollar."
Getting equal pay for equal work in the United States of America is similar to getting the populace to acknowledge global warming. Or that we have a racism problem. Or that we have a gun "issue." Or a student debt issue.
However, I do
agree with Barbara Corcoran on the process and procedure for asking for a raise and/or a promotion:
* Walk in knowing exactly what you have done for the business, for the team, for your boss.
* In your current job description, know what more responsibility you have taken on that you assumed and grabbed for yourself.
* Cite every little detail (of why you are asking for what your are asking for) and then say, "I'd like to get a raise..." and then name the price. As in say exactly
what you want.
* If you are turned down, come right back at them and ask again, "When can I get a raise?"
Just know that if you are
turned down again and again and again, it isn't because you aren't necessarily leaning in to the table far enough or with enough fortitude, or because you aren't stepping up to the plate with enough confidence, or because you aren't speaking up for yourself in the right tone of voice. This is a cultural problem and you are only one of the cogs in the unequal pay for equal work wheel.
Know that it is because it takes thick waders to walk through thousands of years of sludge and get to the other side of the pond without being covered in muck.
Know that it is because the wheels of change turn very slowly whenever someone or some group is suggesting the balance be forever changed.
And one more thing: Always be good at what you do.
No matter what the outcome of asking for a raise or a promotion, always be good at what you do.
At the end of the day you will have your self-respect and your dignity in tact, and you will be able to sleep well at night.
It matters. Too many people begin to feel defeated if they ask and don't get, and then they say to themselves "Why should I bother when I am never recognized and can't get ahead?"
And then they start phoning it in.
Never phone in your performance.
The reason is because you have to set your own standard no matter what the rest of the world is doing.
So set it high. Always set it high.
Both segments of Patricia Arquette's live interview about Women and Work and Women and Pay can be watched at the below links. It is worth taking the time to listen to this articulate, accomplished, thoughtful and experienced woman, who has worked her way up the ladder, talk about how difficult it is to be paid "under the same structure" (which is not the same thing as the same amount), as her co-actors.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patricia-arquette-reflects-on-being-a-single-mom-at-20_56460f8be4b045bf3deec7a8http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/highlight/patricia-arquette-was-once-denied-the-same-pay-structure-as-male-co-star/564507cc6f753a5ba0000330 #BarbaraCorcoran #SharkTankWomen #EqualPayforEqualWork #GetARaiseToday #PatriciaArquette