#SWAAYthenarrative
BETA
Close

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.

Our newsletter that womansplains the week
4min read
Business

How Postpartum Mesh Underwear Started My Entrepreneurial Journey

"Steal the mesh underwear you get from the hospital," a friend said upon learning I was pregnant with my first daughter.


It was the single best piece of advice I received before giving birth in December 2013. My best friend delivered her daughter eight months previously, and she was the first to pass along this shared code among new moms: you'll need mesh underwear for your at-home postpartum recovery, and you can't find them anywhere for purchase. End result: steal them. And tell your friends.

My delivery and subsequent recovery were not easy. To my unexpected surprise, after almost 24 hours of labor, I had an emergency C-section. Thankfully, my daughter was healthy; however, my recovery was quite a journey. The shock to my system caused my bloated and swollen body to need weeks of recovery time. Luckily, I had trusted my friend and followed her instructions: I had stolen some mesh underwear from the hospital to bring home with me.

Unfortunately, I needed those disposable underwear for much longer than I anticipated and quickly ran out. As I still wasn't quite mobile, my mother went to the store to find more underwear for me. Unfortunately, she couldn't find them anywhere and ended up buying me oversized granny panties. Sure, they were big enough, but I had to cut the waistband for comfort.

I eventually recovered from my C-section, survived those first few sleepless months, and returned to work. At the time, I was working for a Fortune 100 company and happily contributing to the corporate world. But becoming a new mom brought with it an internal struggle and search for something “more" out of my life--a desire to have a bigger impact. A flashback to my friend's golden piece of advice got me thinking: Why aren't mesh underwear readily available for women in recovery? What if I could make the magical mesh underwear available to new moms everywhere? Did I know much about designing, selling, or marketing clothing? Not really. But I also didn't know much about motherhood when I started that journey, either, and that seemed to be working out well. And so, Brief Transitions was born.

My quest began. With my manufacturing and engineering background I naively thought, It's one product. How hard could it be? While it may not have been “hard," it definitely took a lot of work. I slowly started to do some research on the possibilities. What would it take to start a company and bring these underwear to market? How are they made and what type of manufacturer do I need? With each step forward I learned a little more--I spoke with suppliers, researched materials, and experimented with packaging. I started to really believe that I was meant to bring these underwear to other moms in need.

Then I realized that I needed to learn more about the online business and ecommerce world as well. Google was my new best friend. On my one hour commute (each way), I listened to a lot of podcasts to learn about topics I wasn't familiar with--how to setup a website, social media platforms, email marketing, etc. I worked in the evenings and inbetween business trips to plan what I called Execution Phase. In 2016, I had a website with a Shopify cart up and running. I also delivered my second daughter via C-section (and handily also supplied myself with all the mesh underwear I needed).

They say, “If you build it, they will come." But I've learned that the saying should really go more like this: “If you build it, and tell everyone about it, they might come." I had a 3-month-old, an almost 3 year old and my business was up and running. I had an occasional sale; however, my processes were extremely manual and having a day job while trying to ship product out proved to be challenging. I was manually processing and filling orders and then going to the post office on Saturday mornings to ship to customers. I eventually decided to go where the moms shop...hello, Amazon Prime! I started to research what I needed to do to list products with Amazon and the benefits of Amazon fulfillment (hint: they take care of it for you).

Fast forward to 2018...

While I started to build this side business and saw a potential for it to grow way beyond my expectations, my corporate job became more demanding with respect to travel and time away from home. I was on the road 70% of the time during first quarter 2018. My normally “go with the flow" 4-year-old started to cry every time I left for a trip and asked why I wasn't home for bedtime. That was a low point for me and even though bedtime with young kids has its own challenges, I realized I didn't want to miss out on this time in their lives. My desire for more scheduling flexibility and less corporate travel time pushed me to work the nights and weekends needed to build and scale my side hustle to a full-time business. If anyone tries to tell you it's “easy" to build “passive" income, don't believe them. Starting and building a business takes a lot of grit, hustle and hard work. After months of agonizing, changing my mind, and wondering if I should really leave my job (and a steady paycheck!), I ultimately left my corporate job in April 2018 to pursue Brief Transitions full-time.

In building Brief Transitions, I reached out to like-minded women to see if they were experiencing similar challenges to my own--balancing creating and building a business while raising children--and I realized that many women are on the quest for flexible, meaningful work. I realized that we can advance the movement of female entrepreneurs by leveraging community to inspire, empower, and connect these trailblazers. For that reason, I recently launched a new project, The Transitions Collective, a platform for connecting community-driven women entrepreneurs.

As is the case with many entrepreneurs, I find myself working on multiple projects at a time. I am now working on a members-only community for The Transitions Collective that will provide access to experts and resources for women who want to leave corporate and work in their business full-time. Connecting and supporting women in this movement makes us a force in the future of work. At the same time, I had my most profitable sales quarter to date and best of all, I am able to drop my daughter off at school in the morning.

Mesh underwear started me on a journey much bigger than I ever imagined. They sparked an idea, ignited a passion, and drove me to find fulfillment in a different type of work. That stolen underwear was just the beginning.