It is still an unfortunate truth that women earn less than men. On average, women make 77 cents to every dollar that a man makes, even if they are working the same job. As Claire Gordon for AOL Jobs notes, studies have shown that this is partially because women are less likely to ask for raises in fear of seeming too aggressive or unfeminine.
However, a new study from Harvard has come up with a way for women to ask for raises without feeling like they are coming off as aggressive. The research, while a bit bizarre and not necessarily how a professional would want to conduct a meeting with an employer, found that certain tactics proved more successful for women who were asking for raises. The research was done over a five-year period and was published last summer in Psychology of Women Quarterly.
"I do genuinely believe that the stereotypes ultimately stem from the fact that we expect women to be paid less, because women are typically paid less, and we expect men to be in leadership positions, because they are mostly in leadership roles," one of the study's researchers, Hannah Riley Bowles, explained of the importance of these tactics. "And part of the process has to be getting more women up there."
The first strategy is to express just how weird and awkward you feel about asking for a raise. Researchers found that using phrases like "I hope it's okay to ask this," or "I don't want to offend you," helped alleviate the social stigmas of a woman asking for a raise, but didn't actually prove very effective in increasing one's salary.
Telling employers that negotiating is good for the company as whole was very successful. It makes the female employee both likeable and proves that she has characteristics that will help the company in the long run. It also softens the idea that asking for more money is done selfishly.
Other strategies include asking the employer for their opinion on the matter and saying someone else at the company, like a supervisor or manager, advised asking for a raise. However, remember that asking is always better than not asking at all.
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