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How Women Should Ask For A Raise

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FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – When it comes to negotiating a pay raise, getting a promotion, or even landing a new job — women often end up settling for less than they deserve. Now, some are turning to professionals for help.

When Amy Layne wanted to take on a new role within her company, discussing a pay raise wasn’t easy.

“It’s hard especially since I’ve been here so long. It’s more of a personal connection, I have with my boss, and you have to think like a company.”

To help her do that, Layne hired life coach Ashley Berges.

“A life coach can help you separate the emotion from the situation, as well as look at your job description and define what you are really doing,” says Berges.

That emotion can add up over the course of a career. Research shows men are four times more likely than women to negotiate higher pay.

Economist Linda Babcock at Carnegie Melon University says that means women are losing out on some 2 million dollars in earnings over a lifetime.

“If you enter at a lower salary, remember your raises are going to be smaller over the years,” says Babcock, author of “Women Don’t Ask.”

Babcock says women worry about the social consequences of asking. She adds that there are still different judgments people make about what’s acceptable for women to do and what’s acceptable for men to do.

So, how should women ask for a raise?

Babcock suggests justifying the request by saying “your team leader thought you should ask.”

Do your homework first. Know your market value and be clear how much of a raise you’ll ask for.

Use silence as a negotiating tool. Women tend to talk when they’re uncomfortable.

“The first thing women need to recognize is how much their colleagues are negotiating. What other people are doing to advance themselves in their organization and just to be more aware of opportunities to negotiate.”

She says the trick for women is to appear friendly, warm and concerned about others more than themselves.

“People judge a woman more harshly when she negotiates than a man,” reveals Babcock. “So a woman needs to pay attention to the style and the impression she is creating. So she makes sure she doesn’t come off as being too aggressive.”

“No is no, and the worst thing that can be said is no,” says life coach Berges. “But if you have the knowledge. If you walk in there and say these are the duties I’m doing, but these are the duties I am not supposed to be doing but also taking care of…it’s really hard to argue the facts.”

Layne took that advice and ended up with a promotion and a pay raise.

“You never know until you ask. Getting the help to figure out the best way to ask for the raise is beneficial.”

Now, as the executive coordinator for an audio visual management company in Richardson, Layne’s learned a lot from the process and is happy with her job title and paycheck.

Also, remember when you ask for more money can be just as important as how you ask. Berges suggests asking for a raise in the middle of the year and make the request in the middle of the week.

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