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Lead Your Team Women in Business

How Women Should Ask for a Raise

How Women Should Ask for a Raise Credit: Money envelope image via Shutterstock

You know you're worth more than you're making, but asking for a raise can be really difficult, especially for women.

That's the word from Caroline Cox, senior editor of Little PINK Book, a website focused on women and their careers.

According to Cox, asking for a raise isn't as difficult as it seems. The trick, she said, is going in prepared. Cox offers five tips on how to ask for a raise and get it.

  • Do your homework. "Sites like Payscale.com let you search for the average earnings in your industry and/or position," Cox said. "If you're making less than the national average (and you can prove it), you've got a stronger argument."
  • Remember your tone. "Raising your voice or sounding 'on edge' may make the conversation more uncomfortable," she said. "Maintaining an even, calm tone throughout will put your supervisor at ease and help you maintain your professionalism."
  • Sell yourself. "You're not trying to convince yourself you the need the raise, you're trying to convince the company," Cox said. "Be sure to emphasize your value to the company and how this raise will directly benefit the company as a whole."
  • Know your numbers. "Quantifiers help support your case. Have numbers backing you up," Cox said. For example, explain how much revenue you've brought to the company or how many new clients you've brought in. "You can't argue with numbers," she said.
  • Don't give an ultimatum. "Maybe they just don't have the budget right now or they'd rather revisit the conversation in six months," Cox said. "Either way, going in to the meeting by saying it's a raise or you're out puts your career at risk."
Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.