Thursday, March 25, 2010

Disappointing Raise…

My raise was a disappointing 4% this year from $72,700 to $75,600. I don’t want anyone to get me wrong and think I am not grateful but I am grossly underpaid. My Boss knows it and has acknowledged it to my face. Additionally, I am paid at least $10,000 - $15,000 less than my peers who are doing the same work and have comparable portfolios. Add to that, I have the most education, I volunteer for special projects, I mentor and I have been with the Bank for going on 11 years. I don’t like to cry discrimination but I am also the only Black female working in the Department and there is only one other Black male working here and he makes at least $10,000 more (confirmed). Additionally, I am the ONLY attorney working in the group and people ask me for advice all the time.

I had this discussion with my Team Lead in August of last year and was told that it was difficult to make a mid cycle adjustment without creating a new position or adding additional responsibilities. My first reaction was…Why the hell do I have to do more to get paid equitably but I said forget and told him I would be willing to take on more responsibility. That never happened and they made a conscious choice (in my opinion) not to fix the disparity at the annual review period where increasing my salary would not have amounted to an out of cycle adjustment.

He said we could discuss further and I said I would like that and I proceeded to state my case. It doesn’t matter. I could tell he knew I was disappointed because I cut the meeting short. We just lost two other Portfolio Managers in our group and we were already in a hiring mode. They are going to have to pay at least $15,000 to the next person to replace me soon. I already started looking for a new job because the increase after taxes will not be sufficient to pay the increase in my student loan payment come June.

At the end of the meeting, I just said Thank You, gathered up my portfolio, got up and went to the bathroom and balled. I don’t like to cry but I just felt defeated and pissed off beyond measure.


Aaren said...

Chi, I'm so sorry to hear that. I can imagine how disappointing this is for you, and you deserve to bawl a bit about it.

BUT, and this is a big BUT, now you have to do something about your current situation. You mentioned that you're already looking for a job, which I completely respect since they've made it apparent that they have no intention of raising your salary to industry standard for your position and responsibility mix. But now you know you need to reduce expenses and/or further raise income. Have you looked again into getting a roommate or two? That will, I think, make the biggest single difference in your ability to make ends meet, and I would go at that hard so that something could be set up before your increased loan payment comes due.

Sallie's Niece said...

Oh man, that is so unfair. They said they couldn't give you an out of cycle raise, so you wait only for that tiny raise? What was his explanation this time? I hope you find something better soon. How dissapointing!

Danielle said...

You need a crazy fat white woman to show up and threaten them with bio-warfare? I have bronchitis and I am not afraid to use it as a weapon. I am quite sure the plane ride would only increase the power of the germs. I can cough on door knobs, keyboards, car door handles, etc. You just say the word because I think that's nonsense.

Chitown said...

Thanks Ladies!!!

LMAO at Danielle!!! You're the best. =)

Aaren -- I am sooo on the roomate scenario. I will report on that more soon.

Sallie's Neice -- I am in loan workout or special assets here at the Bank dealing with troubled loans. I knew the meeting was over when my team lead said that my peers have more experience structuring deals because that was total BS. If they have so much experience then why do they ask ME questions? Furthermore, if you put something other than Builder Developer work in their portfolio they would be clueless. I have Commercial Real Estate and Commercial/Industrial work in my Portfolio. He can just eat rocks!!! =)

The Borrower said...

This ticks me off! How can they justify paying you less for the same work......and if they need to add something to job description have it be the fact that you are mentoring/training/helping your peers that look to you for guidence. I hope you find something soon. This bank needs to be slapped with higher costs to bring someone in. Of course, anymore most of us would work for less. We need this economy to pop back up.

Anonymous said...


I am sorry to hear that, too. (FWIW, I had a very rough day at work too and would probably have cried if I had the energy.)

Activate plan B. I have to agree with Aaren - a roommate will have the greatest impact for one single action. You might even find someone you enjoy living with.

Don't get discouraged. We don't want you to stop posting again! There is nothing that says you can't look for another job, and if there is a market for your skills out there that will pay better, then go get it!

You can choose the way to get through this! Plan, plan, plan! If you don't like the roommate, then cut expenses elsewhere, if you get another job to bring in more income, then great! You just have to do something.

Look forward to hearing what you decide. These things make us stronger, right?


YBP said...


I agree with everyone this is totally unfair. But one good thing is you have the ability to change the situation. Continue looking for other jobs and opportunities. They do not own you!!! I am a firm believer that if one door closes another one is purposed to open. Do not give up, and continue to do what you need to do to better yourself. Another door will soon open and you will be prepared to walk through it.

This is just for a season!!

Chitown said...

I really appreciate all of the words of encouragement. I really wanted to come here today and Blog about really good news and felt bad about having to deliver the news about my raise.

I went on today and sent out an email to a few of my friends to see if they knew anyone looking for a roomate. We'll see how it shakes out.

Anonymous said...

Do you want/need to take it further, is there a formal enquiry line you can invoke without formal litigation? For example over here in the UK if a women suspects she is paid less than her male counterparts she can submit an equal opps discrimination questionnaire to the employer under the sex discrmination act asking various questions to the employer such as how much do you pay, Mr Bloggs and Mr Jones who do the same jobs as me? and if there is a dispartiy what is the reason for the dispartity in pay. I dont know if there is an equivalent method of extracting that info in the US. Often it does force the employer into making good any pay disparity.

Chitown said...

Strangely enough, my Mentor is the SVP of Human Resources. I was waiting to see if they would fix the disparity given that it was acknowleged and civilly discussed on several occasions.

I am at the point now that I am going to get on her calendar and ask her how I can navigate this situation. Ultimately, I want to practice law so I am trying to keep this very low key and leverage off my relationships with several of the law firms I do business with. I think I can make a move in the next year. I just need to be patient and make sure I don't rock the boat too hard.

velvet jones said...

I dont' have anything to add but a hug. I'm really sorry. :( I hope, hope, hope this just means there is something ten times better for you just waiting.

Tired of being broke said...

This makes absolutely no sense. They are not denying that you make less, yet they are not rectifying the situation. wow!
Keep looking, the opportunity for you is out there.