How much you’re being paid at work is an important subject, one so many of us feel afraid to speak up about particularly when it requires a certain openness of discussion about money, particularly with our colleagues. Of course, a shyness around the topic might actually be making things worse, creating a workplace culture of unfair pay (if your employers think no one is comparing pay, they’re probably more likely to try and get away with it, despite there being policies in place ie. the equal pay act). If you think you’re being underpaid for the work you do, coming up with a proper case to present to your manager, alongside evidence, is key.
Here, the experts at Female Invest, a subscriber platform that provides access to in-depth financial courses, webinars, an extensive toolbox of articles, quizzes and live events, share their top tips on what to do if you think you’re being underpaid at work.
Check out websites
A good place to start is looking online at industry averages. Websites have democratised this information. Industry favourites includes the likes of ‘Glassdoor’ which provides salary information and company reviews for you to compare. They offer a ‘Know Your Worth’ tool where you can get a free personalised salary estimate based on today’s job market, just by inputting some basic information such as your job title, company, location, years of experience and more to get a free, personalised estimate of what your market worth is. If the estimate is higher than what you’re currently making, well then the data is telling you that you’re being underpaid.
Speak to a mentor
The good thing about a mentor is that you can dig a bit further into the salary conversation, without having the awkward conversation with colleagues themselves. Your mentor may be able to provide you with insight and advice. Ask for a coffee and a conversation and you may be surprised with the outcome.
Your mentor may be able to offer suggestions on how to negotiate for a higher salary, such as by researching the market value of your skills and experience, preparing a compelling case for why you deserve a higher salary, and practicing your negotiation skills. They may also be able to provide insight into the policies and procedures of your industry or organsation, and offer advice on how to navigate the process of seeking a salary increase.
Start the conversation with colleagues
Depending on whether you feel comfortable or not, another option is to speak to colleagues when determining whether or not you’re being underpaid. Because the reality is, speaking with colleagues will give you a more accurate picture of the salary landscape of the company and whether or not you’re being shortchanged. We’re all about breaking taboos around at Female Invest, so whilst talking about salary in the workplace is considered out of bounds for many, there is no legislation prohibiting the conversation from the workplace. So you have the opportunity to open the dialogue within the workplace, and create a culture of transparency in the workplace.
I’m being underpaid. Now what?
Build a case
Your boss isn’t going to give you a raise just because you want one. So start compiling your evidence, whether that’s the Glassdoor check up or the conversation with your mentor, so that you can articulate the proof that you’re being underpaid.