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What Was It Like for Women Asking for Raises in the ’70s?


Recently, someone asked Laurie Battaglia of Levo League what is was like to ask for a raise, as a woman, in the 1970s. Her reply?

“You didn’t!” she wrote. “On the other hand, I’m not sure how many men asked for raises at that time either. It was a time of taking what was offered and being glad for it.”

Battaglia says she first became conscious of the existence of raises and how to negotiate for them in the ’80s, and even then, men went first.

If you’re interested in asking for a raise in today’s workplace (and actually getting it) there are a few things to keep in mind:

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. The Tiara Syndrome is not your friend.

Also at Levo League, Melissa Stanger explains this syndrome thusly, “Tiara Syndrome is the belief that if you work hard enough, come in earlier, stay later, and work your butt off, someone will notice and reward you by placing a tiara on your head.”

The only way to get what you want is to catalogue your accomplishments and ask for recognition.

2. Know when to ask for a raise.

Ideally, you’d have another job offer in the works, or the ability to leave your job. But we don’t live in an ideal world. If you can’t stack the deck in your favor that way, make sure you’re choosing a good time for the discussion. If you don’t have annual reviews, for example, ask for an appointment with your manager.

3. Come armed with facts.

When you have your meeting, show up prepared not only with a list of your own accomplishments, but market research on what your position is worth in the industry. PayScale offers information on over 13,000 job titles and 3,500 industries. We’re sure to have information on your job — or on the job you hope to have.

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(Photo Credit: euthman/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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