Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2012

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/91258

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Page 36 of 79

We Mean Business DON'T LIE ABOUT WHAT YOU MAKE When a prospective employer asks about your current salary, it's tempting to puff up the number. But if you're caught, you could be seen as untrustworthy, and your offer could be revoked. Instead, point out how much others at your level are making. And keep in mind that you can factor into your salary any bonuses you received or additional freelance or consulting jobs, says Laura Hertzog, Cornell's director of diversity and equal em- ployment opportunity programs. San Diego, people go into a meeting ex- pecting to wing it. Tey also rely on how many years they've dedicated to the com- pany as a reason for a raise. "You're coming in with a sales pitch for yourself," she says. "It can't be about feel- ings or tenure. It has to be [about] data- driven metrics." Also, expect that securing a bump in pay may take more than one meeting with your boss. First you have to lay the groundwork, says Lisa Coleman, Har- vard University's chief diversity officer. Discuss your work performance and any new responsibilities you might take on. If the initial answer is no, ask to revisit your request in a few months, when you have more accomplishments to high- light. In some cases, your boss may not have the authority to make such decisions. It may be tempting to go over the boss's head, but you want your boss in your www.diversitywoman.com > CLAIM TO HAVE ANOTHER JOB OFFER That is, unless you have one and are prepared to take it. EXPECT YOUR STRENGTHS TO BE RECOGNIZED It's your responsibility to out- line the accomplishments that support your request for a raise. Did you help the company save money? Land a new client or an account? Now is the time to toot your horn. SURPRISE YOUR BOSS It could take several conversations to build up to your request, says Lisa Coleman, Harvard's chief diversity officer. You can lead up to it by discussing your performance, your strengths, how you want to grow, and the new responsibilities you are inter- ested in accepting. "You will have a difficult road unless you've set the stage," Coleman says. TAKE IT PERSONALLY This is business. Feelings shouldn't be part of the process. If your boss lowballs you or says no, understand that there is an underlying business reason. Then present your counter. corner. Keep in mind that the company's goal is to hang onto good talent. "Appreciate that there are forces be- yond the boss's control," Brooks says. "You want this to be a collaborative ap- proach. Your boss will be ready to go to bat for you, knowing you have proven yourself and set the stage. Give me goals, and I'll hit them out of the park." Should you, at some point, consider fil- ing a grievance? In reality, looking for a new and better opportunity may be easi- er. "Tere's nothing wrong with pursuing it," says Hertzog. "Just know that it can be difficult and unpleasant to go through the process." Ultimately, salary parity isn't simply about women acquiring sharper negoti- ating skills. In its report, Catalyst concluded that though women may do "all the right things"—negotiate their salary, seek out mentors and advocates, trumpet their ac- complishments—they are still less likely to advance as far or earn as much as their male colleagues. Speaking up for yourself is a start. When Parsons, who has also launched a fashion website, My Wardrobe LLC, told her female friends about how she had asked her firm's decision makers to remove the salary cap and bump up her salary, they were surprised she had gone through with it. "Tey looked at me like I was crazy be- cause they wouldn't be as bold," she says. "Tey will complain afterward but they won't say, 'Tat's not acceptable.'" But for Parsons, it wasn't acceptable. "Sometimes you have to take the bull by the horns," she says. "I am valuable to the company and I deserve more." DW Ellen Lee is a journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area who writes about business, technology, and parenting. Fall 2012 DIVERSITY WOMAN 35

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