It's the End of the Year - That Means it's Time for a Raise

December is my most favorite month of the year. It’s when holiday lights are up, people are in giving spirits, and families come together to celebrate. It’s also the time when most of us have to undergo the dreaded annual performance review. I’ve never been a fan of once a year annual performance reviews. As a manager, I always believed in regular and consistent feedback throughout the year (but that’s for another post).

The annual performance review is also an opportunity for you to ask for an earned salary increase. Just to clarify, this is separate from the cost of living increase. In my career, I’ve asked for raises every single year I’ve worked, and I’ve gotten it. Every. Single. Time. Yes, even during a recession year. And it was always on top of my annual cost of living increase.

Don’t think you deserve one?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that you’ve earned this raise. That means you busted your butt this past year at work - not only did you show up, but you achieved your goals with flying colors and went above and beyond. So not only do you deserve this raise, but asking for a raise matters.

  • Most people of color earn less than White men (the largest demographic group in the workforce) in this country. This is true even if people of color have similar educational backgrounds and are from affluent families.

  • The gender pay gap is real. Women continue to earn less than men. Women working in a full-time job earn an average of 80 cents for every dollar that a full-time man earns. It may not sound like a lot, but it can add up to $700,000 for a high school graduate to $2 million for someone with a professional degree. “In 2017, median earnings for men in the San Francisco metro area were $76,502 compared with $63,306 for women — an earnings ratio of just 83 percent. And for most women, the pay gap is wider. Latinas working in San Francisco are paid 40 cents for every dollar white, non-Hispanic men are paid; African American women 51 cents; and Asian American women 65 cents.”

  • According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), “Hispanic women will have to wait until 2224 and Black women will wait until 2119 for equal pay”.

You deserve to be paid equally. You earned it! And wouldn’t you like to earn at least 7% more every year? Part of owning our power means owning our achievements.

Unsure of how to ask for one?

I get it. Negotiation is hard. It’s especially challenging for those of us who grew up in cultures where we shy away from talking about our accomplishments. Be prepared before you go into the meeting. Do your research on what similar positions earn in your field and geographic area. And if you need more support, AAUW offers free, two-hour workshops (online and in-person) that will guide you on how to negotiate.

Good luck. And remember, it never hurts to ask!

#paygap #raises #mindset #youdeserveit