How Women Can Get The Salary They Deserve
When I was starting my career, one burning question I really wanted someone to answer was: Do women need to be so aggressive to rise to the top? Is that the only way to succeed? Because, honestly, I didn’t think I could pull that off. And I didn’t want to. Fortunately, I ignored societal messages and learned that the perception in my head didn’t match reality.
I didn’t grow up wanting to be a compensation consultant – no one does. But it’s been the best accidental career ever. Helping companies design and implement compensation programs provides me with first-hand experience understanding how pay decisions are made. Working with C-Suite men and women allows to me to watch, learn and answer that burning question: How do women shatter the glass ceiling and rise to the top?

How Women Can Get The Salary They Deserve: 3 Simple Steps For Success

1. Play Your Strengths

Successful women play to their strengths, and not every woman’s strengths are the same. I quickly recognized that different personality types (I call them powerhouse personalities) rise to the top. Women trying to act like men, or to be something they weren’t, generally faced more challenges. But women who recognized who they were, and how to leverage those strengths, succeeded.
Leveraging your powerhouse personality will help you succeed.
Women who stop trying to be like a man – and start acting like a strong woman – succeed. But not all women are the same. There are different definitions of “strong.” Over time, I noticed 4 major types of powerhouse personalities: assertive, confident but humble, politically savvy and fiercely loyal. A woman who is self-aware and identifies her powerhouse personality can play that role better than a woman who tries to be something she isn’t. In other words, not all woman have to be assertive to succeed. Once women figure out who they are, they can tap into those strengths (and avoid the pitfalls) to scale the corporate ladder.

2. It’s Based On Perception

It’s not about telling management what your job is worth. It’s about convincing management that you as a person are worth a higher salary. Listening to senior management review performance and compensation – and discuss who deserved what raise (or promotion or bonus) led to my revelation: Earning more money is based on perception.
Forget about telling a company what your job is worth.
The biggest surprise may be that there isn’t one fixed amount of money a job is worth. Individuals can actually cause a job to be worth more money based on their own unique experiences, impact on the organization and performance. You influence your own pay more than you know. Men, more naturally than women, leverage how they are perceived by the company. Women need to do this too, but by playing to their own strengths. Women who recognize and use their powerhouse personality to their advantage convince companies they are invaluable. As a result, they earn a higher salary.
[RELATED: Which Professions Are Hurt Most By The Pay Gap?]

3. How You Play The Game Matters

Remember that compensation is a game, and how you play the game matters. Working with men and women highlighted one important fact – overall, men play the game better. They may have fewer inhibitions or they may spend more time figuring out how to play, but either way, they play it better.
Compensation is a game that you need to understand in order to win.
Women who realize compensation is a “game” – a high-stakes game – also succeed. These women study how their company plays the game. Recognizing that each company (and industry) approaches compensation differently) is half the battle. If you don’t know what game you are playing, how can you succeed? You can’t go into a pay discussion speaking Spanish when the other person is speaking French and expect to negotiate a higher salary. And that is exactly what happens to a lot of women. Women who identify the game being played and then leverage their own strengths to make their next move earn more promotions, higher raises, and bigger bonuses. These women convince the companies they are worth more.
Find your powerhouse personality.
Convince the company you are invaluable.
Play the game to win.

Hi, I'm Anna!

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