8 Tips for Negotiating Salary Increases for Women in the Workplace

Negotiating a salary increase is a critical skill, and women, in particular, face unique challenges thanks to societal and workplace dynamics. 

Here are eight tips for women looking to negotiate a raise:

#1. Research and Benchmarking

Any successful negotiation must have a foundation in information. Understanding your worth hinges on effective research and benchmarking. It’s important to get deep into industry reports, salary surveys, and online platforms like Glassdoor, Payscale, and Salary.com. These platforms aggregate salary data from professionals across various industries and regions, providing an insightful baseline for comparison. 

Benchmarking is more than just figuring out the average salary for your role. Factors like location, company size, years of experience, and specialized skills should all influence total compensation. When you’re benchmarking, make sure to compare roles with similar responsibilities and requirements. You should also keep an eye on industry trends. Do you have skills or qualifications that are in high demand right now? You might be able to leverage a higher salary if so. 

Researching and benchmarking arm you with the necessary data and context. When you negotiate with facts and industry standards, you showcase your professionalism and fortify your position.

#2. Document Your Achievements

If you’re not explicitly highlighting your achievements, there is a good chance they are going unnoticed. Documenting your achievements serves as a testament to your value and can help facilitate conversations about promotions, raises, or lateral career moves. 

I recommend starting with a regular log of all the projects you undertake. Make sure to note the initial challenges, your roles, any strategies you employed, and the outcomes. Quantify your successes wherever you can. Did you boost sales by 20%? Did you streamline a process that saved the company several hours per week? Numbers say a lot, so use them to your advantage. 

You might consider gathering positive endorsements or feedback from your colleagues, superiors, or clients to add weight to your documented accomplishments. And always be on the lookout to upskill. Certifications, courses, or workshops boost your expertise and are achievements all on their own! 

Remember, it’s not all about the big wins. Consistent performance, teamwork, leadership, and soft skills like effective communication are all valuable. You should periodically review and update your documented achievements. Armed with concrete evidence of your contributions will help you advocate for your worth.

research and documentation

#3. Practice Your Pitch

Practice makes perfect, even when advocating for yourself in a professional setting. Unfortunately, your pitch for a raise or promotion isn’t just about stating facts, it’s about delivering them persuasively. Practicing allows you to refine the narrative, making it compelling and coherent. 

Start by outlining your key points, focusing on the value you bring, and aligning it with the company’s goals. You should weave together your accomplishments, benchmark data, and aspirations. Once you have it in your head, rehearse it out loud. You can do this in front of your mirror, your dog, or, if you’re comfortable, with a trusted friend or mentor. They may provide valuable insights, help you to improve, or ask questions you may not have considered. 

While you’re practicing, pay attention to your non-verbal cues. Body language, tone, and pace are all important for influencing perceptions. A well-practiced pitch is full of confidence and minimizes the use of fillers. 

Practicing allows you to transform your pitch from a list of achievements to a convincing story. It allows you to prepare for counterarguments, helping you achieve the best outcome possible. With every rehearsal, your story becomes less about asking and more about deserving.

#4. Convey Confidence

Sometimes, how you present an idea can be as influential as the content itself. Conveying confidence ensures your voice is heard but also instills trust, showing that you believe in what you’re saying. We’ve already talked about the importance of being prepared with documentation and rehearsal. Just doing the homework there will help your self-assurance naturally shine through. 

Make consistent eye contact. It showcases your attentiveness and establishes a connection with the listener. Your voice is another powerful tool. Speak clearly, at a moderate pace, and make sure your tone matches the message. Avoid using qualifying language like “I think” or “maybe,” which can unintentionally weaken your position. 

Don’t get it twisted. Confidence does not mean you have all the answers. It means that you are certain of your value and contributions while also being open to feedback and questions. Consistently demonstrating confidence can shift perceptions, giving way to new opportunities and respect in the workplace.

confident woman at work

#5. Focus on Value and Impact

Focusing on the tangible benefits you’ve delivered underscores your importance to the company. Value isn’t always all about financial gain but can include innovative solutions, team dynamics, or improved processes. All of these things can ripple out and benefit the company in many ways. 

Remember that when you’re talking about your accomplishments, you should emphasize measurable outcomes. Instead of stating your leadership in a given project, spotlight how it led to heightened customer satisfaction or gains in efficiency. Provide clear metrics wherever you can to solidify your narrative. 

You’ll want to align your contributions with the broader objectives of the company. By showing how your efforts directly impact the business’s mission, you highlight the symbiotic relationship. Your individual growth and success become catalysts that further the ambitions of the company.

#6. Avoid Apologizing

There is a pattern among women in the workplace, and many of us have fallen victim to it, including myself. It’s the frequent and usually unnecessary use of apologies. This habit goes beyond politeness and stems from a desire to be perceived as non-confrontational or to minimize one’s own presence. However, excessive apologizing, especially when unwarranted, can unintentionally diminish your authority and perceived competence. 

Look, apologies have a time and a place. It’s important to acknowledge mistakes and misunderstandings appropriately. But when women preface statements with “I’m sorry” out of habit, it conveys uncertainty even if the content that follows is confident and well-researched. For example, starting a salary negotiation with, I’m sorry to ask, but…” positions the request as an inconvenience rather than a deserved discussion. 

Cultural and societal norms have conditioned women to prioritize harmony and avoid being seen as aggressive. But it’s important to remember that clarity and assertiveness are not aggressiveness. By being mindful of your language and cutting out unnecessary apologies, you can project confidence and help your contributions and insights get the weight they deserve.

#7. Consider the Bigger Picture

It’s easy to become engrossed in immediate concerns or specific details. However, it’s important to zoom out and assess situations from a broader perspective. A holistic view can offer clarity and align your individual goals with the organizational ones. 

For instance, when you’re negotiating a raise, you should look beyond the potential salary increase at comprehensive compensation packages, professional development opportunities, and improved work-life balance. What’s important to you? Maybe a few extra vacation days are worth more than a larger financial increase. These considerations can have long-term implications for your career growth and personal well-being. 

You also need to understand where the company is heading, its vision, and its challenges. If your company is navigating financial hardships, immediate monetary demands will be met with resistance. Alternative compensation like stock options or flexible hours might be more achievable and beneficial to you.

raise pushback

#8. Prepare for Pushback

Engaging in any form of negotiation usually involves some resistance or counterarguments. Pushback is a natural part of the process, and you should embrace it by being prepared for concerns, priorities, or constraints from the other party. 

You should do your best to anticipate any potential objections. Consider what reservations may arise, such as budgetary constraints or questions about the justifications for the increase. That means coming to the table armed with foresight. Gather any evidence from your documentation that will help you demonstrate your achievements and come prepared with your market research to counter resistance. By preparing answers to anticipated pushback, you appear thorough, and you ensure that the conversation remains constructive. 

No matter what happens, try to maintain a composed and empathetic demeanor. Reacting defensively will only escalate any tension. Listen actively to the concerns raised, validate them, and then provide counterpoints. This approach fosters mutual respect and open dialogue. 


Navigating the nuances of the professional world as a woman is complicated. It requires a harmonious blend of self-awareness, assertiveness, and adaptability. From understanding your market value through research and benchmarking to confidently articulating your worth without unnecessary apologies, every strategy plays a role in ensuring workplace health and happiness. Challenges such as pushback are not necessarily roadblocks if you see them as opportunities to reaffirm your value. 

If your boss refuses to see the value you bring to the table, all is not lost. You now have a coercive and coherent narrative to present to potential new employers who will be happy to pay you what you’re worth. 


For even more tips on how to survive and thrive in the corporate jungle, check back often at the Girlboss Burnbook. If you’d like to chat or even write for the blog, feel free to email me at info@girlbossburnbook. I love to hear from readers!





Founder of Girlboss Burnbook

Hey there! I’m Jenna, the founder of The Girlboss Burnbook. My mission is to support women feeling isolated in their leadership roles. After leaving the corporate world, I realized many women face the same struggles I did. I wanted to create a platform where we could share our stories and empower each other.

At The Girlboss Burnbook, you’ll find helpful content. If you resonate with it, please reach out and share your thoughts. I’m always looking for guest contributors to our blog. Let’s collaborate!

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