Getting Paid What You Deserve at Work

Getting Paid What You Deserve at Work

It’s no secret that women tend to be underpaid in comparison to men. Women on average earn 78 cents to a man’s dollar. This is totally unfair because women are just as smart, creative, and educated. In fact, women can build, teach, and lead just as well, if not better, than most men.

Society has taught women that it is not “lady-like” to be aggressive about money, investing, raises or bonuses. Well it’s 2013, and it’s time to wake up and be wise about the money we work so hard for. We women must know how to articulate our worth and begin to demand and negotiate higher salaries and perks. It’s real simple; if you do great work and make your company or organization a better and/or a more profitable establishment, then you need to be recognized in the form of compensation. A pat on the back and kind words are noble, but after a while, they are not satisfying. If you feel that you are not earning what you deserve, then you need to speak up. With anything you ask for it is not what you say, but how you say it. With that said, when you approach your supervisor you should: 

Have a Neutral Voice

Don’t get defensive, cry, get riled up or sound whiny. Remember, it’s business, not personal. As nice as your employer may be, your feelings are not priority, but the company’s bottom line is. Make it about your work and the benefit it has to his or her goals for the company.

Have a List of Your Work Accomplishments

Did you recruit the most clients, or increase profits? Did the majority of your students graduate on time? Supervisors often forget the good and remember the bad. Remind them of all the great/profitable things that you’ve done and how much of an asset you are.

Schedule an Appointment

Request a time to meet with your supervisor. This is an important conversation that should not take place in the elevator, or while grabbing lunch. By scheduling an “official sit-down” your supervisor will be less distracted and will be more likely to give you their undivided attention.

If a raise is not negotiable, and you are truly unhappy, then you might want to consider looking for another job. Of course you should never ever resign from a job until you secure another position. It is always easier to find another job when you have a job.

Lastly, truly take time to reflect upon your accomplishments. Are you really worthy of what you are demanding? Sometimes people are delusional about how they contribute to their workplace. They may believe they are entitled to a higher salary, but really they should be receiving a pink slip.


Carline C. Dumerlin-Folkes works in the field of education and is the founder of B.E.L.L.E Becoming Exceptional Ladies & Learning Everyday ( She believes that as women we should support one another and carry as we climb. She is also the co-author of Miss University, a reference guide for college-bound young women (

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