Seven mistakes women make when asking for a pay rise

The gender pay gap is still very much a reality. While achieving pay parity continues to be an issue for businesses across the board, there’s a lot women can do on an individual basis to help make their personal dent on gender inequality.


According to The Reader’s Digest, asking for a pay rise the right way is a good place to start. The article claims that women tend to have the mindset that they’re fortunate to have their job, and they don’t like to appear greedy. This makes them much more likely to avoid the salary conversation or, if they do raise the matter, to make one of seven common mistakes. Read on for a summary of those typically female mistakes to boost your chances of success the next time you pull up a chair at the negotiation table.


Mistake #1 – You don’t lay the groundwork

Document all the additional responsibilities you’ve taken on, the processes that you’ve streamlined and the monetary value of your new client wins since you joined your company. Otherwise, it’s difficult to justify a salary hike. So list your accomplishments, quantifying them where possible, and present your case point by point.


Mistake #2 – You overthink it

There’s no need to be confrontational but you should be clear in your mind that you only want to work for a company that values your contribution. So don’t overthink things. Just go ahead and prepare your killer pay rise request.


Mistake #3 – You apologise while you’re asking

You shouldn’t feel bad about asking for a pay rise! This is how companies show their recognition for all your hard work. It’s a simple business transaction. If you’re confident about the value you bring, you should be paid appropriately for it. Full stop.


Mistake #4 – You fail to talk shop

You can’t ask for a rise without getting a feel for what other people in similar roles at your company are being paid. So do your research. Talk to the colleagues you’re close to as well as professional recruiters. Look up similar roles on LinkedIn.


Mistake #5 – You choose the wrong time to ask

Sometimes the best time to ask for a salary hike is after you’ve achieved something significant like a new client win. At others, you need to wait for formal review time in which case you should make your request early before the full salary pot is allocated elsewhere.


Mistake #6 – You don’t follow up in writing

Whether your boss promises a rise for your next payday or for when you fulfil a specific condition, get it in writing. Documented evidence will be useful when you come to follow up, particularly if the approval process is taking a long time or your boss leaves the company!


Mistake #7 – You don’t look for a new job soon enough

It’s good to be optimistic but you should also be prepared for a refusal. This could mean that your company doesn’t value you so it may be time to jump ship. Get to know a good recruitment agent before your conversation so you’re prepared to embrace your job search if necessary.


By avoiding the above common mistakes, you’ll increase your chances of success dramatically. If your request is met with a refusal, as per point seven, it may be time to set your sights beyond your company walls. If you feel it might be time to move on, please get in touch. ABL is the UK’s leading multilingual recruitment agency and we would love to help you find your next dream job. Please get in touch to find out more.