#SWAAYthenarrative

Follow The Money: Why (and When) Men Get Raises Over Women

Career

As the #BossInHeels, my personal mission is to empower women to run the world by showing them how to own their unique strengths to achieve success. Consequently, I developed my own website, heathermonahan.com, which is dedicated to providing insight into how women can succeed in business - and in life - through what I refer to as the ‘Monahan Method.’ I launched this social media initiative to motivate, inspire and teach women how to get ahead, and as a result, I have mentored various women and continue to work with these mentees monthly.


With over twenty years of experience in the corporate world, my tireless passion and hard-won wisdom has enabled me to be able to speak to other women with sage, firsthand experience. Additionally, as a single mother, I deeply empathize with the multitude of demands that women must meet every day. Transparency around my struggles as a single mom, my own life challenges and successes, allows me to connect with women, celebrate their attributes and teach them to leverage these traits in their favor. My goal is to inspire women to embrace their inner powerhouse so they too, may be unstoppable. Even if this means having to take a cue from our male counterparts here and there.

The reason I say this is because as someone who has decades of experience as a hiring manager, I have come to realize that there are several differences between how men and women approach asking for a raise and what universally works.

I have observed countless men and women position themselves for a raise and in every instance - either the employee sold the organization on why they deserved the raise - or the company sold them on why they couldn’t receive a raise at that time (usually told to women more often than not). But, don't despair, there's still hope, as outlined below.

Timing Is Everything

The clock is ticking on budgets being solidified for 2017 and if your increase is not factored into the new budgets, you will have another year to wait to get your increase considered. So, if you need a raise, this is your chance to beat other employees to the punch. Employers will only give out so many increases, and the employees that are approved first will be the employees that get the raise.

Mono y Mono
Be sure to ask for a raise in person, not by email or over the phone. It is much harder for a supervisor to turn you down when they are face to face with you.

Mars' Money vs Venus' Money

No matter your gender, asking for a raise typically opens up a great conversation to review your accomplishments and revisit expectations for your position. But, the conversation around compensation is still very uncomfortable for many people, as it is viewed as extremely personal and at times emotional. This, however, is not usually the case for men and here's why:

1. Men are confident that what they are asking for is justified and they see asking for a raise simply as a formality. Women on the other hand are typically more unsure - and at times - even apologetic for asking for a raise at all.

2. Men typically take the position that their achievements speak for themselves and warrant the raise. Women typically are more easily talked into why it is not the right time for the company to give out the raise. Therefore, men are more focused on themselves, while women focus more on the company perspective.

3. Men come across much more bullish when asking for a raise which shows confidence. Women come across much more subtle in their approach which can be interpreted as insecure or unsure.

4. Men don’t have a hard time pointing to others in the organization that are making more money and inferring that the gap needs to be closed in order for them to stay on the team. Women don’t usually point to other employees to compare comp structures or pay, but they truly should in order to ensure the pay gap is closed and not broadened based on gender.

In closing, while there is a vast disparity between males and females on average when it comes to asking for a raise, the top differences listed above are ones that women should mimic and take into account for their own fiscal benefit.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.