06/18/2013 10:58 am ET

Want a Raise? Join a Lean In Group.


For the past three months, I've been participating in a Lean In circle, a small monthly meeting with a group of female peers in New York City who are all interested in professional support and advancement. We’re following the curriculum provided by Sheryl Sandberg’s nonprofit organization, Leanin.org, which is based around the ideas in her best-selling book about women in the workplace.

One topic that Sandberg’s book discusses in-depth is that women often don’t ask for raises or negotiate well for themselves. A 2011 study by Carnegie Mellon University found that men were four times more likely to ask for a pay raise than women. Women were more likely to wait until a promotion or assignment was offered, rather than asking for it in advance. I can definitely relate to this—I’ve always been incredibly nervous to ask for raises, and in the past when accepting new jobs, I’ve taken the first offer rather than negotiating for a higher salary.

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