Tips For Women: Negotiating Your Way to a Higher Salary

There exists a gender pay gap in this country. Part of this discrepancy is a result of men being more assertive and actively seeking out raises, whereas, women tend to be more passive. Why do women not stand up for themselves at work? Studies show that women are less likely to be as aggressive as men in seeking a raise because of the stigma that follows a woman who is assertive. A woman who is assertive in the workplace can come off as overly entitled. This is not a fair characterization and this is what deters most women from being assertive and standing up for themselves. So, how does a woman stand up for herself in the workplace all the while avoiding the stigma?


  • First of all, as in any negotiation, know your worth. Do a little research for your job position and your area of the country to determine how your current salary stacks up with others nearby. This will assist you in determining where to start your negotiations and how much higher your salary can go.
  • Second, your request for a raise should not be based on your personal need for more money. While it may be true, your request should instead be based upon your value to the company. Build a case that focuses on what you have contributed to the company and why the company is in a better position now because of your work. Obviously, think about this before you approach your manager so that you can be specific and provide details. If you landed an abnormally large deal or were in charge of a team that completed a difficult task, be sure to come ready to discuss these accomplishments.
  • Third, be humble. Do not approach your manager with a sense of entitlement. Be assertive and back up your request with specifics but do not walk in expecting a raise. Also, do not threaten to quit if you do not receive a raise. That will only serve to aggravate your manager and almost certainly remove any chance of a raise you may have had.
  • Finally, be prepared for your manager to say no. You may have made a strong case, you may have made valid points, you may even be deserving of the raise but, if it’s not in the budget, you will not receive one. Your manager may also feel that you are not deserving of a raise. This can be taken very personally. Do not huff and puff. Turn the rejection into a positive one. Ask your manager what steps you could take to ensure a raise in the future. Not only will this let you know what you can do to obtain a raise but it also shows your manager that you’re committed to the company and want to do what you can to help the company succeed.
  • Bonus Tip: rehearse your negotiation speech in front of a friend or the mirror before your meeting with your manager. This will help you tailor your facial movements but also allow you the opportunity to tweak your negotiation speech as you rehearse it several times.


Use this as a guide to help you prepare and properly negotiate a raise. It takes effort on your part but, in the end, it will be worth it because you’ll either receive a raise or you’ll now be certain of what you need to do to obtain a raise in the future.  To watch the Huffington Post debate, click here: HuffingtonPost


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