Knowing Your Value

Women don’t ask for enough. It’s hard to do it.  We don’t pummel through a door and ask for the world on a platter in a job. We also are the last people to admit that we need some help when things are spiraling out of control.

Last year, I was incredibly interested in what I learned from Mika Brzezinski’s book: Knowing Your Value. One of my co-workers told me how fantastic it was and that I needed to read it. So, I did. And today I’m asked to write in a writer’s voice.  I choose Mika’s.

In any job, men are paid more money that we are.  Two positions, the same tit for tat, will see that discrepancy.  The horrid thing is, we never know it when it matters. When it’s time to negotiate.  As we move into a conversation with a superior, we don’t know our value and we must ask questions openly about salary in our industry to get the answers that make a difference in that closed-door meeting.

We should be asking for what we want, Ladies! And not apologizing for it.  Guys ask for what they want and need all the time, so what makes us sit back and not do the same? You may do solid work, create ease inside your workplace for your team members and co-workers, but that will not get you flagged for advancement. We must speak up and say something when we believe in ourselves and the impact we have in greater scenarios.

Do you think what you’re making is more than enough? We have the tendency to be grateful for what we’re getting at our jobs.  That is important, but it stops us from asking for that promotion or that extra income that we deserve.  Yes, of course– we should be grateful for the jobs we have, there is no doubt of that in this moment in time.  But we also deserve to be paid fairly.

The hardest and most irritating part of all of this is we have to be willing to walk away to get what we want.  It does not sound ideal. Believe me, I know. But no one will value us, until we value who we are and what we do. We have to be willing to make that statement.

And don’t let this post be mistaken for male-bashing.  Oh no. Guys can be some of our most helpful advocates when we’re trying to be treated fairly.  Having honest conversations with those you trust the most could help you in the long run.

Also, don’t get me wrong: both men and women are paying us less than what we’re worth.  Whether it’s institutional or something that hasn’t been called into consideration in years, it’s happening and those on both sides of this story need to step up and evaluate how we can do better.

And for those of us who are moms– because you are a mom, you are better at your job! We are aware of the balance and the work we need to put in when our other job calls us to the doctor’s office or to take our child to a game.  We may step out of work to do it, but we will be working our hours at home once everyone is in bed and we can re-focus on the tasks at hand. We will not disappoint you.