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6 Ways Women (and Men) Can Celebrate Equal Pay Day 2016


Equal Pay Day has been on our calendars since its
conception by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996, but very little has actually been done to close the wage gap between men and women in America. Recent research shows that in 2016, women only earn 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. Even if we look at men and women in the same jobs, women earn less: comparing only like job titles, experience, and education, women make 97 percent of what men earn. If this information rustles your jimmies like it does mine, I’ve got six things you can do right now to help close the gender pay gap this Equal Pay Day.

equal pay day protest

(Photo Credit: b.p.w.germany/Flickr)

If You’re a Woman…

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Negotiate Your Salary.

It seems obvious, but the fact that men are four times more likely to ask for a raise or a promotion than women means that fewer women are negotiating their salaries. That’s a problem for you, because you’ll earn significantly less over the course of your career than someone who asked for more, but it’s also a problem for other women, who might follow your lead and be less inclined to negotiate because “women don’t ask.” Just by asking to negotiate your salary, you’re making it easier for other women to do the same.

Know the Value of Your Skills.

It’s hard to negotiate your salary if you aren’t exactly sure what you should be making. The PayScale Research Center is helpful, but if you really want to get an exact range for your individual skills and experience, getting your free salary report is the best option. Once you are able to understand your own worth in the market, you will have the numbers you need to successfully negotiate a higher salary on your behalf.

Speak Up.

Seriously. Your voice may be your best weapon for getting anyone at your organization to recognize the issues that contribute to the gender pay gap. If you’re interviewing candidates for a specific position at your company and don’t notice any gender diversity in the applicant pool, speak up! If you have a position you’re looking to fill and know a female co-worker who is qualified for the role, let your boss know. Promoting more women into leadership roles is one way you can help close the gender pay gap.

If You’re a Man…

Support Your Female Co-Workers.

If you have any women working for you, show support for your female colleagues by publicly acknowledging their achievements. In doing so, you’re letting everyone else at the company know that this person is qualified, competent, and trustworthy. This can help build mutual respect and ultimately make for a more positive work environment for everyone.

Be a Good Role Model.

Unfortunately, some men are still condescending to women in the workplace. You can break the pattern by exhibiting the behavior you want to encourage in your colleagues, male and female. By setting a positive and respectful tone, you can avoid encouraging bad behavior. And ultimately, it’s always nice to be nice and it’s usually good for business.

Be a Sponsor.

If you’re an executive-level employee, this one is for you. A great way for you to close the gender pay gap is to connect with a female in your company who has shared her career goals with you. In a recent study, we found that men who say they have role models in their company earn 24 percent more than women do. This is because when you have a sponsor to advocate for you, you have more support on your side, which might lead to a higher salary.

Tell Us What You Think!

How are you helping close the gender pay gap this Equal Pay Day? We want to hear from you! Comment below or join the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #equalpayday.

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