In a perfect world, your employer would actively take notice of all your accomplishments and how you have helped the company to succeed and approach you with an opportunity for a raise. Unfortunately, that is rarely how things play out, even if you are deserving of one. Likewise, don’t expect to get a raise just because you ask for it. Employers don’t give raises because they are nice or because they like you. Business is business and your employer will need to see why it makes sense and why you deserve a raise.
So, how do you best position yourself for a raise and get what you ask for? Here is some advice, straight from someone who has run a business for 15+ years, on how to get the raise you deserve!
1. Pave the Way for Yourself
Before you even ask for a raise, you want to ensure that you have put yourself in the best position to get one. Express to your employer or supervisor that you have your sights set on growth within the company and ask to meet with them to discuss their recommendations and expectations. That way, you are clear on what you should be working towards and have time to implement their feedback. When the time comes to ask for a raise, you can reflect upon your previous discussions and have expectations to measure yourself against. Be sure to arm yourself with an overview of how you have been an asset to the company, some of your key accomplishments, goals that you are striving for, and reassert where you’d like to see yourself within the company in the future.
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Share Your Successes
You want to do as much as you can to have your employer already know you are deserving of a raise, rather than having to build a case for yourself from scratch. As such, don’t be afraid to share your successes and achievements along the way, prior to you proposing a raise. That way they already know you are a shining star and exceeding the expectations of your role.
3. Do Your Research
It is also important to make sure that your salary expectations are reasonable. Sites like Payscale and LinkedIn can provide valuable information about salary ranges for your role in your geographical area. Make sure to do your research when coming up with the salary you propose and let your employer know that you have done such research so that they know you haven’t just come up with a number out of thin air.
4. Time the Conversation Wisely
If your company has been laying people off, you saw a poor quarterly report, or there is noticeable tension in the air about expenditures, now is not the best time to be asking for more money. Whether you deserve it is one thing, but whether the company can comfortably afford to pay you more is another. Time your asking for a raise around a more successful or profitable time.
5. Focus on the Positives
Avoid letting the conversation start with “I haven’t had a raise since…” or “I’m doing the work of two people…” While these may be true, you want to avoid focusing on the negatives or coming across as though you are complaining. Likewise, don’t make threats or ultimatums unless you are prepared to follow through with them. Instead, keep the conversation focused on your strengths, why you are an asset to the company, and why your employer should continue to invest in you.
Many people are intimidated by asking for a raise, and so they never end up having that conversation with their employer. But like I said, your employer will rarely approach you to give you more money! The worst that can happen is they deny giving you a raise. Then it will be up to you to decide what to do next. Depending on their reasoning, you can either decide to explore career opportunities elsewhere or you’ll leave the meeting armed with feedback and information on how to accelerate your growth within the company.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.