Are you happy about the money you made last year?
If the answer is no, and you are a woman... read on. Trust me sister, if you aren't thrilled
with the digits in your bank account you are not alone. The reason that women aren't
getting more money is so simple and easy to correct that it might make you scream.
That doesn't make it any easier.
Go Find The Culprit
I you don't like how much money you are making stop reading this article right now.
Go and look at yourself in the mirror.
Gaze deeply into your eyes and say, "The reason I didn't get what I wanted is because I
It is fascinating that even the most accomplished women are hesitant to ask for what
they want. (Could that be you... it's OK we are in this together.) Many women find the
arena of asking a scary one. They are afraid that they will appear as aggressive if they ask
for what they want. So, they avoid asking. Women are trained that being liked is more
important than being successful. Part of this is due to our evolutionary pull to put our
own well being second to our children's needs. Asking for what we want feels counter
intuitive. The result that following our feeling in this arena are devastating.
The 32% Woman Discount
Our bank accounts, businesses and relationships pay the price. Women that don't ask for
the salary stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60. (Men are more than four times
as likely as women to negotiate their first salary.) In the current economic climate many
women are so grateful to be offered a job that they accept what they are offered and don't
negotiate their salaries. She reported that women's salary expectations between 3 and 32
percent lower than those of men for the same job. Hold up. Think about that for a minute.
The woman in the equation thinks that the value of her work is 32% lower than the man
doing the same job.
Women Business Owners Get The Crumbs
Professor Babcock's research confirmed what my experience working with women
entrepreneurs. Lesa Mitchell has a superb column about the glass walls that are hindering women business owners.
Here is a statistic that is so shocking to me that it is hard to type.
Women own about 40 percent of all businesses in the U.S. They receive only 2.3 percent
of the available equity capital needed for growth. Male-owned companies receive the
other 97.7 percent.
Women's business guru, Ali Brown,seems to be on a mission to change that statistic. Her article, "Are Women Less Tolerant of the Bullshit That Comes With Success" is a battle cry for women to empower themselves and get their business going.
She has a great deal to say to women about speaking up. So, I invited to share her thoughts in my next column.
See It To Be It
I am not the only expert seeing this phenomena. Linda Babcock, an economics professor
at Carnegie Mellon University taught negotiations and dispute resolution for years.
She wondered why women weren't achieving the same results as men. Then she had an
epiphany. "It kind of hit me over the head," said Ms. Babcock, who went on to research
why women were much less likely to initiate negotiations. That research ultimately led to
her widely praised 2003 book, Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide.
Are you all riled up? Good.
Go Find The Change Agent
Go back and look at yourself in the mirror. Gaze into your eyes and say, "I can turn this
around this around. I'm going ask for what I want at least once this week. "
This could be very new territory for you. To help get you started here are some of my
inner marketing strategies to put to the test.
Set Yourself Up To Win
The answer is no if you don't ask...at the right time. Set up an appointment to talk before
you ask them for what you want. They will be more receptive, and more likely to say yes.
Men's Magic Three + Three
Men love it when you ask for what you want. Most women don't know how to ask. Be
direct and give them your exact request. Include where, when, what. Leave out the why. It clouds your request. A great guy wants to help you; save you
trouble and be your hero. Use the words help, save or hero and he will be even more
likely to say yes.
Play It To Say It
If you are asking for a big raise, write a script and rehearse. Use a flip camera to record
your request to see how you come off. Rehearse it until you are comfortable.
What is something you have been avoiding asking for?
How have you overcome your fear of asking?
What advice would you give other women who are scared to speak up?
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Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and executive coach. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for the Savvy, Sassy and Swamped" (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Check out her blog at funkytofabulous.blogspot.com.