Asking for a Raise If You’re a Woman

An educator and seasoned web writer, Lesley contributes to publications on career, lifestyle, and self-development. Visit Bid4Papers blog or join @LesleyVos on Twitter to say hi and see more works of hers.

In an ideal world, there’s no gender gap in all areas, including a governmental one. This is the world where we all have equal economic opportunities and where our boss notices all our accomplishments, giving us a raise.

In the real world, everything is different. We still struggle with gender myths and have to ask for a promotion at work. I did it for the first time in 2016, the year when some columnists of big dogs like Time and Forbes called a gender pay gap nothing but feminist dramatics. At that time, it was a big step outside my comfort zone — but I did it anyway. Today, I can share a few must-take steps on your way to overcoming doubts and fears, and finally asking for something you do deserve.

So, how to prepare for a talk with your boss, and how to ask for a raise to make sure you’ll get it.


First of all, think about what you are going to ask. If it’s a salary raise, figure out how much your duties and responsibilities can cost, and calculate how your salary is related to the overall level of salaries in your industry. And if you see that you get less than other companies’ employees, it makes sense to discuss it with your manager.

But stay realistic. They’ll hardly raise your salary twice at once. Make a list of your achievements over the past year, write a persuasive essay with arguments you’ll use, and wake up to the facts when building a solid foundation for a meeting with your boss.



When talking about a salary raise, you want to convince a boss that you deserve it.




A face-to-face meeting is always better than an email, no matter how well-written it is. And while it’s not that easy to talk face-to-face, it’s your chance to demonstrate your negotiating skills as well as your readiness to fight your corner.

A sign of good manners will be to schedule a meeting beforehand so the manager could prepare for it, either. Besides, think of the best time for conversation: it’s better to wait a little than have a talk at the end of a hard working day.


Think about how you are going to talk: will it be an ultimatum or a long conversation; will you accept an offer at once or discuss alternatives? It’s never easy to talk about money but do your best to stay honest and open with your employers. Blackmailing by quitting is a popular strategy, but it can hurt you – especially if you don’t really want to and are not willing to do so.

Some bosses believe that if an employer says she’s ready to quit, mentally she’s already out of the door. It’s a demonstration of your lack of commitment, so such a tactic may result with prejudices towards your future work.


It’s better to gather accomplishments and arguments before you start thinking of promotion. First, make sure you responsibly take all the duties. Also, think about some specific details concerning your added value. And share the examples of your projects that have positively impacted the company.

So that you don’t have to think convulsively about what you’ve done for the business, a good practice would be to note your achievements in the course of work.

Spending days and nights at work isn’t enough, given that employers may perceive this information differently: while some would decide that you do your best, others may conclude that you fall behind schedule. It’s better to focus on what you’ve done for the company and why you’re a valuable employee.  Wherever possible, use numbers. They often sound more convincing.


When talking about a salary raise, you want to convince a boss that you deserve it. However, far from all arguments are appropriate here.

For example, the fact that you have been working at the company for a long time is not enough for getting a promotion. You should demonstrate your readiness to take additional responsibilities and prove it to your employer. Don’t refer to your colleagues’ salaries and don’t complain that they do nothing, unlike you, to deserve it. Chances are, you just don’t know about all their duties at work.


Certainly, you need to stay positive and hope for better; but be prepared for the fact you boss may turn down your request. However, it doesn’t mean you’ve lost; and it doesn’t mean the negotiations are over.

Ask a manager what you need to do to get that long-expected salary raise; so you’ll show that you are serious about your career and further work in the company. Also, feel free to ask when you can get back to discussing your promotion, and meanwhile spend that time on growing your skills and results.

And remember:

Think carefully about why you want that raise. If the main reason is your disappointment with the current job, then a higher salary or a new position will be just a short-term solution. Big money won’t make your work more interesting, and new positions may bring nothing but more responsibilities and therefore stresses to your life.

None of this will make you love your job more, but don’t hurry up to give up everything and quit. Look around: giving up your 9-to-5 to flexible working hours, moving to another department, or taking more challenging tasks can recover your lost motivation and lead to career success.

Want new articles before they get published? Subscribe to our Awesome Newsletter.


Advice from top Career specialists


Articles about the Public Sector


Public Sector Trends
Job Search
close slider
Are you looking for a government career? Your journey starts now!

Your Career Search Just Got Easier

Pin It on Pinterest