As a woman in the United States, you enter the workforce with numbers against you. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s review of 342 professions, men earn more than women in all but nine. That’s a staggering 97 percent of jobs that range from doctor to waste collector and everything in between. As if salary worries weren’t enough, women commonly feel daunted about advancing in their careers. To top it off, women are often subject to sexism in the workplace.
If you’re ready to turn the tables, we invite you to read on.
STAND UP TO SEXISM
The Globe and Mail states that subtle sexism in the workplace is harder to identify and harder to fight in single incidents. But these single incidents “accumulate over time to perpetuate a culture where women are held back from progressing toward true equality.”
Sexism persists in a variety of situations, such as women being less likely to receive credit in team projects. That’s not to say that some men aren’t victims of sexism, but that, statistically, women are subject to the vast majority of it. Women are also more likely to be judged on appearance and are assumed to lack competence until they prove otherwise. Furthermore, women are labeled “bossy” and “abrasive” if they speak up — but they are ignored if they stay quiet.
Men and women should work together to fight against sexism in the workplace. That starts with creating safety and space for women to share any sexist experiences. At the same time, men and women should reinforce that sexism won’t be tolerated. And men have an important role to play in talking with other men about these issues.
ACHIEVING HIGHER SALARIES AND ADVANCEMENT OPPORTUNITIES
According to Salary.com, women are far less likely than men to negotiate at work, especially when it comes to negotiating salaries, promotions, or other advancement opportunities. While men regularly pursue these negotiations, many women feel reluctant; thus, falling behind on the career ladder. Women aren’t poor negotiators; many just miss negotiating at all.
Women resist negotiation for an understandable reason. Remember, women are more likely to be labeled negatively and disliked when they negotiate. While women can’t change the societal attitudes toward women who negotiate, they can absolutely learn to negotiate and overcome the hesitations that may prevent them from already doing so.
First, raise your expectations. If you have the skills, knowledge, and experience for the job, remind yourself that your salary needs to reflect that. You don’t have to accept the first offer. “The first step toward successfully negotiating is making the decision to negotiate in the first place,” notes Salary.com. But this means you have to enter the negotiation knowing what you’re worth by researching similar companies’ salaries in the area.
While feeling apprehensive or pessimistic is understandable, it can shape your perspective going into the negotiation and may hurt your chances of success. When you’ve earned the right to a raise or promotion, present your case with confidence. Use your skills when you’re negotiating; opt for a cooperative approach to show how your promotion will benefit you, as well as your coworkers and the company as a whole.
If the role you’re seeking requires a skill set you don’t have, consider a proactive approach and either work to earn new certifications, take free online courses, or even go back to school. A degree in higher education paves the way for a higher salary down the road. For example, you may be able to advance your career by going back to school for an MBA degree. Not only will this make you a more valuable employee, but you could see an uptick in your salary.
CRACK THE GLASS CEILING
By standing up to sexism and negotiating for higher pay and career advancement, whether it’s as an employee or a business owner, you’re cracking the glass ceiling. Recognize that success is plentiful. Some women believe there’s a restricted amount of power and achievement available, but this doesn’t have to be the case. The more people who believe it isn’t, the more it won’t be.
Elysian Staffing offers staffing solutions that are targeted to the exact needs of both talent and clients. Work with us or hire through us today!