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​Rise to the Top: How Women Can Earn More Money

​Rise to the Top: How Women Can Earn More Money

By Christine Condon

Do you know how to play the compensation game? Compensation consultant Stacey Hawley led an Ellevate Network Jam Session on how women can leverage the strengths of their personality to convince companies that they should be at the high end of the salary scale.

Every company and industry approaches compensation differently. Hawley advises to first focus on the game at your company: look at company info, including industry, stage of growth and its financial situation.

The next step of the game is to look at the players. Who should you talk to? It's not just one person. Different players have different levels of influence. And you need to play the right game at the right time.

What Is Your Powerhouse Personality?

Knowing the value of the job isn’t enough. You need to convince your manager you are worth it.

“It comes down to how you’re perceived. Perception is the key,” Hawley says.

Hawley focuses on four personalities and likens them to women in the media. She cautions that when it comes to getting ahead, you need to be true to who you are.

Are You Assertive?

Like Taylor Swift, assertive women are not afraid of social interactions. They don’t worry about what others are going to say or think, but they aren’t demanding or aggressive. Hawley says, “They are focused on effective decision-making and moving forward...They communicate clearly and are able to tout their own performance.”

To leverage your personality, tout the right performance to the right people in a way that matters to your company. Create alliances by promoting other people. When negotiating, listening is a powerful tool. Don’t provide an answer or fill in the silence to get to the goal.

Are You Confident But Humble?

Think Blake Lively. Confident but humble women are thoughtful and consider other people’s emotions. They recognize their own abilities and skills relative to an organization’s needs--and know they are valuable. However, they dislike broadcasting their own performance and would prefer someone else extol their praise.

To get ahead, don’t assume leadership knows what you’ve done or negotiate against yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask what you think you should be getting. Don’t low-ball to preserve your confidence--Hawley says you’ve got to shed that. Own your accomplishments and create allies with other powerhouses. If you don’t get what you’ve asked for, don't let it derail your confidence.

The Politically Savvy Powerhouse

According to Hawley, these women love relationships and networking. Like Angelina Jolie, they masterfully navigate social interactions to achieve goals. They create advocates and alliances. They solicit different viewpoints, create consensus and establish mutually beneficial relationships.

When leveraging your assets, create alliances with decision makers and influencers. Ensure your advocates really know what you want. Take the time to be specific about what you’re looking for in terms of compensation.

Are You Fiercely Loyal?

Hawley uses Mary Barra, the CEO of GM, who rose up the ranks at her company, as the model of this personality type. If you exhibit significant understanding and patience--and your need to trust governs many decisions, this is the type of person you are. The relationship with your employer is paramount. You prefer long-term relationship to short-term gains and want your loyalty to be rewarded.

As you strive to get to the top, remember that you are a role model. Because you’ve been with the company for many years, you have leverage. Make your manager your advocate. Appear to be a flight risk, and look at what else is out there. Hawley doesn’t advocate using an ultimatum as leverage, but she does recommend being specific about what you want. Communicate about your performance, results and compensation desires.

The Key to Rising to the Top

Making more money is more than just knowing the value of a job. Look at the whole package. Use your strengths and influence to convince your company that you should be at the high end of the pay scale. 


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