If you were to be asked how much you think women ought to be paid, on average, for the same amount of work their male counterparts do, what would be your response? Would you say men and women earn equal wages?
Unfortunately, the reality is that they don’t earn equal wages. In this day and age, there is still a gap in female-to-male earnings. According to data derived from the 2017 US census, this ratio stands at a shocking 80.5%. What does that mean? In simple terms, it means that for every $100 men make, women in the same capacity will make $80.50. This information goes to show that at this rate, women will not receive equal pay until the year 2059.
Though these statistics are true in absolute terms, they may not be an accurate reflection of the reality that causes them to come about.
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What does this mean for the modern career woman?
The modern career woman faces lots of hurdles, especially when it comes to workplace equality. As a woman in the corporate world, here are three tips that could help you advocate for your work, make the right decisions, and advance your career.
1. Proudly Advance Your Career
Do not shy away from communicating your drive and dedication to climb up the corporate ladder. Be it you work for a non-profit, large corporation, or start up. You’re the primary advocate for ensuring you get to the position you desire. For this reason, you should start treating your future with some respect and make sure you do your best to attain your goal.
However, if you are climbing to an upper position, i.e., from project lead to Product Manager, consider connecting with a mentor and learn about things you are unable to foresee. While improving yourself, start reflecting the efforts you make.
A good way of taking up a more ‘self-promoting’ attitude is teaching yourself how to communicate the things that drive you. Take a moment and think about the things that excite you about going to work every other day. If you love what you do, then show it.
By channelling positive energy in your place of work, you’ll not only be encouraging yourself to keep on striving for success, but you will also inspire your co-workers to advance the company’s goals.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve this:
Adopt a new way to communicate the impact you believe the work you do has on your customers, community, or clients. Elucidate how what you can do aligns with your goals.
As a woman in business, it’s vital to have a positive mentality. Your thoughts and drive should be governed by statements like ‘This is where I want to be. I’d like to build and advance my career in this company, so I’ll give this job everything I’ve got.’ Share this mentality with fellow peers and make the most of the opportunities that avail themselves to you.
2. Show you’re up for the challenge
There was a study conducted by Hewlett-Packard to find out why there are few women holding managerial positions in the corporate world. It found that men generally apply for job promotions if they feel that they have met 60% of the criteria while women generally doubt their credentials if they haven’t met 100% of the qualifications.
The main takeaway from this study? Just apply.
Stop thinking of or getting hung up on missing qualifications as weaknesses. Instead, adopt a different mentality – think of it as an opportunity to prove that you are determined to succeed.
Don’t cower from promoting yourself—frame employment gaps as a chance(s) to capitalize on previous work experience. Use phrases like “That is an interesting task. Since I have done something similar before, it won’t be a problem learning this skill.” Or, “I faced a similar challenge in the past and was able to think outside the box to get the skills I needed to help my team achieve the goal we had goals.” If you’re actively looking, you can find your next career move on Fircroft.
If there are experiences or systems that you need to get familiar with before seeking promotion or applying for a job, seek additional training or learning materials, and prepare yourself. If you are not familiar with a specific system but are willing to learn its ins and outs, you may be able to do some of the work beforehand and show you take initiative. Your determination to find a way could help you get noticed.
Networking is vital when looking to advance your career. Ask your superiors and colleagues to explain their experiences, roles, and tips on how to succeed. Be open and honest with them about your aspirations career-wise and how enthusiastic you are to learn. Most successful people don’t mind sharing their experiences and journey with people who’re interested in following the same path. They’re generally excited to share what they’ve learned whenever they can because they were also helped along the way.
Have you ever been at a point where you felt you had a superior understanding of a job or system? At the moment in time, if someone, who you saw was eager to learn from your experiences, came to you and asked for help, wouldn’t you have been excited to share what you know with them?
Now, put yourself on the other side of this example and ask those above you to explain their organizational perspectives or roles. Humbling yourself and seeking guidance could prove beneficial – the things you learn could end up being life-and-career-changing in terms of your career and income.
If you plan on networking with peers outside of your company, make sure you have a polished pitch that explains your future goals and current position well. Develop a two-minute, one-minute, and 30-second elevator pitch. Don’t know how to? Completing the sentences below could help:
“My ultimate goal as a woman in business is to have an impact on…”
“In my current position, my responsibilities are to…”
“The ideal role for me is one that allows me to leverage qualities like…”
“I am passionate about what I do because…”
Ultimately, you’re responsible for advancing your career. Both the choices you make and the way you approach challenges will define your ability to close the gender pay gap.
Use the tips in this article as a starting point but continue to learn and improve over time based on your experiences.