What REALLY Happens When Women Ask For A Raise

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
From the "we want to bang our heads against our desk" files: A new study out this week found that when men ask for raises, they’re 25% more likely to get them than women are when they ask.
This is infuriating, since it’s hard enough to even ask for a raise. In a 2015 survey conducted by Glamour, 57% of women said they had never even asked — compared with 46% of men. Similarly, a Citibank and LinkedIn survey found that only 25% of women have asked for a raise in the past year.
And those numbers don’t paint the whole picture. Women still face the exhaustive balance of how to ask for more. The advice on this is endless, and conflicting: Act confident, but don’t intimidate. Speak up, but don’t be too loud. Ask for what you think you deserve, but don’t demand anything. Nobody likes a woman with demands.
No, really: In four studies by researchers at Harvard and Carnegie Mellon, it was found that both men and women are more likely to penalize female employees who initiate pay raise negotiations than their male counterparts. Research by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization that examines gender inequality in the workplace, produced similar results. The group discovered that even when women use the very same negotiation tactics as men, they have worse results.
The good news: The Citi/LinkedIn survey also found that when women do ask for a raise, they get one 75% of the time. We first have to get over the sadly complicated and gender-bias-heavy hurdle of actually asking. And even though the particular of how to ask for a raise is so dependent on your industry, your relationship with your boss, your role in the company, and even the day of the week (seriously, there's been research showing bosses are more receptive to wage increase requests on on Fridays), the hardest part can just be scheduling the meeting and making the request. Here, women around the country and across industries share how the talk really went down. The reality? Sometimes the answer wasn't what they wanted to hear. But they all survived and found that no matter the answer, it helped clarify their career goals.

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