How To Close Your Gender Wage Gap and Ask for A Raise

posted: 09/17/15
by: Courtney Reimer
Woman using digtal tablet in business meeting

The annual census came out and with it some "good" news: The gender wage gap is the smallest it's been, but that doesn't mean vast wage disparity between men and women isn't still a thing. Matter of fact, women still earn 21 percent less than their male counterparts, on average.

One hopes that employers are looking at ways to close that gap, and certainly no one can do it alone, but there are some tools to help close your own pay gap. Below, find some great tips on how to ask for a raise. It might not fix the wage gap altogether, but it could be a step in the right direction.

1. Timing is everything. There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to the timing of your raise conversation with your boss. Have you recently taken on more work (e.g., have you taken on the work of another colleague)? Did you just have a big "win"? Did your boss just commend your work? These are all great times to ask for a raise.

2. So is the time of the day/week. Not only does the figurative time matter when you're asking for a raise, but so does the literal time. Distilling down the message of this Forbes article on the very question on when the best time is to ask for a raise: people are probably most receptive to these requests on a Friday morning (but not too early).

3. Information is power. What's the average or typical salary for your role? Crowdsourced sites like Payscale and Glassdoor can help you arm yourself with actual numbers to speak to when you go into the conversation.

4. Practice makes perfect. The Harvard Business Review recommends rehearsing what you'll say to your boss when you ask for a raise. If you're too embarrassed to try out your material in front of a friend, record yourself and play it back to yourself.

Again, one woman alone can't fix it for everyone, but if we all do our part, we just might make a difference.