Mind the Gap

5 Mins

Have you ever gone to your boss and asked for a pay rise? If so, did you get it?

A recent YouGov survey found 43% of men asked for a pay rise and 31% of those were successful, compared to 33% of women asking and just 21% landing a pay increase.

As for the amount in that pay rise - men get £733 more on average than women according to a report by Fidelity International.

This fits with recent evidence that there is still a significant pay gap between men and women in the UK’s biggest law firms where women earn a fifth less than men on average.  It’s not surprising women don’t ask for a pay rise as often given they’re more likely to be knocked back compared to their male counterparts.

Lawyers are supposed to be a dab hand at negotiating but tackling salary rises can be daunting. The Lawyer Portal has this useful salary guide you can check out. And here are some tips to increase your chances of success:

  • Present your case with facts

Do your research and use evidence to back up your request. If you don’t work by billable hours to give you a measure of success, look at how you can measure the success of projects you’ve worked on over the year and the impact you’ve had on the business.

  • Choose the right words in the right moment

Call a meeting at a good time. 5pm on a Friday won’t work as well as 11.30am on a Thursday. Don’t ask instantly, thank your boss for their support first. Talk through the year’s progress with them. Ideally, salary will be mentioned by your employer, but if not, you can broach it without confrontation or making it personal by suggesting a salary review is warranted based on your performance. Then, be ready with your evidence once you’re asked to justify this view.

  • Have realistic expectations

A 25% increase is unlikely to fit within a company’s salary budget. So, go for somewhere around 8-10% instead and see what they come back with. If you’ve gone in with evidence-based reasons and a reasonable increase request, you’ll be hard to refuse.

Of course, being a legal recruitment firm we’re here to help you get the right job and negotiate a great salary for you too. So get in touch if we can help.

Written by Jason Connolly