Career 05 December 2016
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.
4 Min Read
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.