While making more money and getting a promotion are two common career goals, research shows that women still earn less than men who work in the same jobs. But there are also signs that the gender wage gap is closing, specifically for adults ages 25 and 34 — women in this group earned 90 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earned.
If you are a woman, and are eager to climb up the corporate ladder and get paid what you are worth, here are four crucial tips that will help you break through the glass ceiling.
Learn How to Ask for More — and Then Do It!
Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of the book “Women Don’t Ask”, present the theory that part of the reason why gender inequality still persists in the workplace is because women typically don’t negotiate their starting salaries as much as men do. This is an important factor, experts say, because how you negotiate your salary will have a long-term impact on how future raises and bonuses will be calculated.
Tara Jackson, financial expert and keynote speaker at MadamMoney.com, says that preparing ahead of a salary negotiation could help close the gender gap.
“When you ask for money with documentation of your accomplishments, you will be in a better position to negotiate if they say no or offer you less than what was asked,” Jackson explained. “Also, keep in mind that if your employer can’t give you more money, try asking for other benefits like more time off, telecommuting, etc.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up!
Some may tell you to let your work speak for your career. But modesty can actually hurt you.
A study says that while men often feel emboldened to speak up for their work, women — even when they have good revenue-generating ideas — still fear rejection and possible backlash for speaking out.
Part of the onus rests on male-dominated companies that need to change their culture. But if women do not speak up, the company will be less inclined to do so. And with women in more leadership positions than ever before, now is the opportune time to push forward all the good work you are doing with a strong voice!
Your words will give you greater visibility, inject your ideas with confidence, and help you change workplace culture to promote gender equality.
You Cannot Succeed Alone. Learn How to Delegate.
Even though women entrepreneurs are optimistic about growing their businesses, they are also far less likely than their male counterparts to hire people to help them.
A study says that only 9 percent of women business owners plan to hire more employees within the next six months. And those who plan not to hire say that they will take on more work themselves.
From a business perspective, if you’re too busy doing everything, then you really don’t have time to develop a strategy to increase sales. And in a more corporate setting, doing everything yourself means that you can’t focus on the crucial things that will actually move your career forward — like learning new skills or spearheading important projects at work.
“This is detrimental to the woman because you send a message and expectation that you are ok with doing all of the work for what you are making,” Jackson told The Balance. “Delegation allows you to release busy work so you can showcase your true talents that may warrant advancement and more money.”
Be Mindful of the Career Path You Choose
A 2016 report by GlassDoor says that different reasons cause women to end up in careers that pay less money — accounting for 24.1 percent of the wage gap between men and women.
The question then becomes, why are women taking lower paying jobs? The report concludes that social pressures push men and women into different majors and career tracks based on traditional gender roles. And these gender roles also shift child and elderly care responsibilities onto women, which forces them to look for lower paying jobs that are more flexible.
This means that you need to be mindful of the career path you choose. Are you in your job because you actually want to? Or is society determining your career?
Paying close attention to how gender norms impact your education and work could empower you to push beyond them and take charge of your own career.
The Bottom Line
Although there are still some workplace obstacles slowing down gender equality, cultural changes are happening. And in many cases, you can push those changes forward by negotiating, speaking up, delegating and being generally aware. These four basic but crucial steps will help you get ahead and make more money.