If you’ve been reluctant to broach salary with your boss, this is your time to shine! That’s because Tuesday is Equal Pay Day.
Originating in 1996 as a public awareness event to showcase the gap between men’s and women’s wages, Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the new work week women must work to earn the total that men earned by the end of the previous week. Sigh.
According to an American Association for University Women (AAUW) report, in 2013 American women earned 78 cents compared to a dollar earned by men for full-time workers.
Here are some ways to shrink the gap and ask for the bank you deserve:
Ask for more: Wayne Gretzky once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” What are the odds your boss will approach you and say, “Congratulations, there’s extra money in the budget so I’m going to pour it all into your salary”? But what if you take the shots you previously missed by approaching your boss and showing your worth? Schedule a meeting and arrive prepared.
Compile accolades you’ve received and a long list of accomplishments along with the ammo of your current pay and the going rate to state your case. Specifically ask for a percentage increase of your base compensation.
Be realistic: Keep expectations in check — salary review may not occur until the fall or even year’s end, so the conversation may feel like a moot point if budgets don’t get tapped. It still matters. Get onto your boss’ radar screen that you want to earn more, you deserve it and your work, ethic and attitude speak for themselves.
Do some digging: Knowledge is power. Whether or not you reap pay equality in this job, information will bolster you with power as you pound the pavement for the next one. Conduct informational interviews with peers at other companies and attend industry events.
Ask your HR department: Some companies have transparent policies; others have closed doors. It doesn’t hurt to ask. You don’t need to say why you’re asking, though it’s pretty much assumed.
Feel entitled and deserving: Hopefully Equal Pay Day will get you thinking more about money and also feeling more entitled to get paid well for a job well done.
Vicki Salemi is a career and human resources expert and consultant with 16-plus years of hands-on management experience. She’s a public speaker, coach, the author of “Big Career in the Big City” and on-air host of “Score That Job.”