8 Action Steps to Guide Women in Asking for a Pay Raise

May 11, 2018

Getting a pay raise

One of the more common comments that I hear from women is that they don’t need to ask for a raise. Why? Because their boss knows they want one, and when the time is right they will get that raise. The last I checked, most bosses aren’t mind readers. If women want a raise or a promotion, they need to ask for it with confidence and assertiveness.

Prepare before asking for a salary increase

Here are some steps that will help you get the raise:

1. Truly believe that you deserve to be paid more. This is a step that you cannot skip. If you don’t believe that you are deserving of a raise, you won’t ask for it in a way that shows your confidence in yourself. Repeat a mantra, visualize yourself in full confidence asking for that raise, and practice saying the words out loud until you really believe that you deserve it.

2. Write down exactly why you deserve the raise. Include facts and figures. Don’t say, “I work hard and I deserve this raise.” Instead, get specific. Here are some examples: “Under my leadership the sales team has increased sales by 20% in the past year” or “I have developed a system that saves the accounting team about 10 hours per person per month.” Build a case that shows you are both an asset to the company and improve the bottom line.

3. Make your case succinctly and confidently. Your pitch should sound like this: “I would like a raise. Here are the reasons that I’m deserving of a raise.” (Show your list.) Your pitch should be no longer than a few sentences.

4. After you make your request, stop talking. Let your boss speak next. Don’t give her an out by diminishing your pitch.

5. If your boss says yes, say, “Thank you.” That’s all you need to say. Don’t be overly effusive; remember, you deserve this raise.

6. If your boss says no, ask, “Can you please tell me what would need to change in order for me to get this raise?” Ask for details in writing about what is required of you in the future, and use the list the next time you ask for a raise. If a “no” answer includes messaging that suggests you will never get a raise, don’t despair. You’ve now done the prework to update your resume. Most of the information that you used to ask for a raise will be equally beneficial when looking for a new position.

7. Once your boss tells you what is required for you to receive a raise, acknowledge the input. You can say, “Thank you. I will be completing these requirements in the next few months and will set up a meeting with you at that time in order to revisit a raise.”

8. Do not get defensive or too emotional. Be confident and calm regardless of your manager’s response. You deserve this raise and you will be back to ask for it again soon.

When women are confident, prepared, and well organized, asking for a raise can be far less terrifying than we might have originally thought. Changing your mindset is key to being fully confident in your request and to achieving your success.

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About The Author

Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist, certified professional life and executive coach, and professional speaker. She is also a women’s empowerment coach and does numerous talks and trainings around women’s leadership and assertiveness. You can learn more about her at

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