And no, I didn’t mean to do that, but serendipity
My friend, who is smart and talented, has asked her boss for a raise several times.
She has documented her accomplishments.
She has shown how she is doing work outside her job description, work that her boss considers to be strategic and important, as he is the one who is asking her to do it, sending her to director-level meetings in his stead.
Have you already figured out what part of the problem is?
Did hitting the word “he” give you a clue?
When he told her there are metrics and a path to promotion, she answered, “OK! What are they?”
“I have so many skills,” she told me. “I have spent a lifetime learning how to pacify men’s fragile egos. I can walk into a meeting full of men and know immediately who the alpha is and whose ego needs stroking.”
These are not skills you can put on a resume.
These are not skills we should need.
My friend’s boss backpedaled when she asked for the metrics. “Well, they aren’t really defined. We’d have to brainstorm and create some.”
My friend, who has been on this rodeo before, answered, “Guess what I came up with a bunch of ideas!” as she slapped down another page of proof.
Years ago, I was in charge of cleaning the customer and item data in three operating systems for 70 factories.
I did so and documented the financial and time benefits to the company.
I saved the company a ton of money and I had proof.
I asked my boss, who had been the manager of one of the factories before he came onto this project, for a promotion (and raise).
“But them you’ll be making more than my assistant plant manager did!” he answered.
“My work has had more of an impact than his has,” I said.
I did not get that promotion.
In my performance evaluation with a boss once, he told me I “used big words that make people feel stupid.”
I was confused. “What words? Which people?” I asked.
He could not cite any examples.
I told a co-worker the story and the co-worker laughed. “You make our boss feel stupid,” he said.
At my last job, I was hired to create an internal document repository.
I taught myself the software, researched the best practices, convinced management to change how they did things to adopt best practices, and designed, built, and launched the repository within four months of my start date.
My coworkers praised it, telling me it was intuitive and easy to use.
Then I started internal communications – newsletters, posters, podcasts, and videos – that increased sales opportunities. My company made machinery that started at $150,000 an item. My campaigns created the possibilities of increased revenues by hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.
I asked my boss for a promotion.
For context, I was two position levels lower than an engineer who had ten years’ work experience. I had more than twice that amount of experience and had documented results above and beyond my job description.
“What do I need to do to get a promotion?”
My boss, one of the really good guys – a great guy in every other way, could not give me an answer.
We are punished when we advocate for ourselves.
But this generation? Women in their 30s? They’re not taking this crap. They know they’re right and they know they’re not alone and they will make things better for the women who come after them.
Don’t stop fighting. Don’t give up.