Nearly 20 years into the new millennium, women still aren’t getting paid equally. Women are held back by doubt, antiquated notions, and stereotypes — and sometimes each other. This Equal Pay Day, help another woman rise in the workplace.
In 2018, the pay gap restricting working women persists with 77.9 cents to every working man’s dollar, and when both genders are equally qualified for a role, the woman still earns 97.8 to the man’s dollar. That latter is when every compensable factor is accounted for, including industry, job level and experience in the controlled gender pay gap.
What happens when women lift each other up? Women supporting women in the workplace can potentially place more women leaders at the top and encourage others to push for pay and positions traditionally filled by men.
1. Motivate colleagues to rise as female leaders
In 2018, men still move into upper-level positions at significantly greater rates. In mid-career, a man becomes 70 percent more likely to move to an executive role than a woman, and by the late period of their career, men become 142 percent more likely to possess C-suite or VP roles.
That’s nearly 1.5 times the likelihood of a woman landing a similar role.
All workers should strive to build authentic and strong relationships with one another. Women professionals must motivate each other to rise as female leaders. Don’t discount your experience and remind each other of your strengths. When you can, stand up for the success of other women and fight to promote those who have earned it.
2. Empowered network as a driving force for change
Women are great at making connections, and when they take the time to give another woman a leg up, that empowered network becomes a driving force for change. Do you or your kid need a job? Need another lead in a different direction? Need a speaker at the last minute? Women know the battles they’ve sustained to get where they are, so it’s only natural to offer cupped hands when another woman is struggling to climb a fence.
You don’t have to drive across the city or country. There are women across the world on social media to point you in the right direction and lend a hand. Reach out and offer yours when others need it.
3. Don’t put up with manterruption
Donald Trump interrupting Hilary Clinton during the first 2016 presidential debate — Kanye West’s mic-stealing prowess interrupting Taylor Swift in 2009 during an award ceremony — and it goes on and on. Worse is the persistent under-discussed plague of men interrupting women in the workplace. Manterruption is an age-old phenomenon.
A 2014 study revealed both men and women were more likely to interrupt a woman than a man. An informal tech industry study the same year found that in over 900 minutes of conversation, men stopped a woman talking three times as often as a man, and men interrupted women two times more than they did other men.
Women professionals need to take a vow to not participate in such disruption and point out instances of being interrupted and when other colleagues interrupt a woman’s point. Form a pack of resistance, and take down manterruption.
4. Negotiate for what she deserves
Female mentors are powerful allies when it comes to negotiating strategic salary packages that get a woman professional what she deserves. Professional negotiation differs for men than women as it’s seen as a greedy act when a woman negotiates for what she deserves — equating to $2 million revenue lost in a lifetime for the average woman with the goal in mind of climbing the corporate ladder to leadership. That’s retirement, and then some, ladies.
Negotiation is a key component to unlocking the pay gap, and many companies prepare a budget solely for package negotiations. Women must help each other rise, and female mentors are strategically poised to help other women professionals feel and find their value confidently as they put together a strong salary package. Only 30 percent of women dare to negotiate — beat the stat.
When it comes to negotiating for a salary for a new job offer, only seven percent of women attempt negotiation, but whether negotiating as an entry-level or C-level employee, women can’t use the same strategies as men.
Get confident talking about money, and check salary calculators and stats to assist. Your worth is more than that, though — how have you and how do you plan to fulfill company needs? Dare to make the counteroffer, or let the higher-up struggle to fill the silence when they fail to pay a woman what she deserves. Pave the way for the women who come after you and help them do the same.
5. Give kudos often and publicly
Kudos are always overdue for women who struggle to remember their own worth. When you call out the achievements of other women, you elevate yourself as a positive professional. Plus you feel good — giving to others and complimenting them makes the brain’s pleasure centers fire up and release endorphins. The benefit of doing well is contagious, much like laughter or second-hand stress.
Skip the old pat on the back or quickly ticked off email. This isn’t a checklist item. Make an announcement at the next meeting. Write a heartfelt and handwritten note. Bring her a coffee with the note on it. Give kudos everywhere, in public and private, even when it’s not expected.
Shatter conceived notions and old stereotypes about women at work. Women don’t forget their struggles, so help each other remember and take the power and pay you deserve. Help each other rise.
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