The not-so-dark art of getting a raise 🤫

career compensation promotion Aug 21, 2023
The not-so-dark art of getting a raise 🤫

Within HR we have an interesting dynamic to contend with. We know all the data around what everyone is earning, yet rather than being able to use that data to advance our own career, we have to act like we haven’t seen in it.

I’ve been in your shoes, and managed to find a way to increase my compensation and grow my career, without breaking that sacred oath.

In this weeks post, I am going to help you start to navigate that and eliminate the noise from what you know.

Side note: let’s be honest, change of this kind takes a lot more than one newsletter from me. But this newsletter is at least a start.

Before we get into it, I have three very real questions that I would love you to answer me by hitting reply.

  1. Are you being paid your worth?
  2. Do you find yourself apologising every time you ask for more?

Compensation for women in startups

Women represent 35% of employees in startups, yet on 20% of the equity goes to women. This is often because we are hired into roles with less compensation to begin with. We get 47 cents for every dollar of equity compared to men, which is something like a 1.5 million dollar wealth gap by the age of 65.

I say all that to say, compensation means so much more than just base pay, and education around what the whole package means will mean that we don’t just move things forward for ourselves right now, we also have the power in our roles to change it for others.

Fun fact: women are just as good at negotiating as men, sometimes better!

In studies by Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, they found that when things are ambiguous and we don’t have much data, we struggle. Men are much more likely negotiate than us, and therefore get more. But we are holding back often because we are penalised when we ask for more.

Interestingly when women are negotiating on behalf of others, we aren’t just the same as men, sometimes we are even better. This is especially true in markets like real estate.

We need to invoke that warrior spirit on behalf of ourselves, but we do that by trying to remove ambiguity. Now in HR, we have a sense of what others are earning, but do we really know enough about what our peers are earning?

We can learn to eliminate ambiguity by arming yourself with market data. But how?

We won’t win alone, but we can win together

Whilst women are commonly heralded for being great at supporting one another, we truly suck at asking for help when it comes to our careers, even with our friends.

That’s because we have been taught not to ask for things for ourselves. But guess when we feel better able to ask...? When we are in a group where that is expected of us. Which is exactly where community for us is so powerful.

When I say I want to build a Bloom community, I really mean it. I mean a group of women where we are constantly seeing how we can be of service to each other, where we share our situation transparently and arm one another with data that means that we all get to win. A place where it isn't just safe to ask for help, it is expected. Transparency and community will eventually even the playing field.

And for today, here are three things that you can do to start to move towards the compensation you deserve within HR:

  1. Research and prepare: Sis, it’s time to gather your data and arm yourself with knowledge beyond the walls of your company. In this journey, don’t forget the power of connections. Cultivate relationships with colleagues, mentors, and other professionals. Let this research be your shield, providing you with the evidence and confidence you need to enter negotiations.
  2. Focus on value: When it’s time to discuss compensation and advancement, remember to centre yourself and your worth. Shine a light on your contributions, accomplishments, and the unique value you bring to the organisation. Paint a vivid picture of how your work has positively impacted the company’s goals, bottom line, and overall success. DM me “I am ready” and I will send you my Title Upgrade Kit™️ to do my career narrative exercise.
  3. Negotiate every time: Hone your skills in lower stakes sitches, practice your persuasive words, and boldly articulate your value, giving as much data around the impact you have created as possible. Never shy away from advocating for what you truly believe you deserve. Seek advice from experts, take negotiation workshops if needed - let these experiences shape you into a master of the negotiation game.

Remember, while these strategies will guide you on your path, it is also crucial to challenge and transform the systems that perpetuate inequality as HR leaders. Advocate for pay transparency, promote diversity and inclusion, and strive for equitable compensation practices.

That's the truly amazing point of all of this, by advocating for ourselves, we really ARE advocating for others. We are the change makers that can actually change the system. Let that be the fire that drives you forward in your career.

Together, we can create a world where women, and anyone else who is not set up to win in our society finally receive the recognition, compensation, and titles they truly deserve.

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