By Gloria Martinez
Gloria is a College Professor turned business owner. She also runs WomenLed.org, which celebrates women’s achievements in the workplace and beyond.
It’s hard to believe that women still have such a battle on their hands where the workplace is concerned, but it’s an unfortunate truth that there’s still sexism, unequal pay, and harassment to deal with in many business environments. It’s exhausting to try and climb the corporate ladder while also fighting the notion that women can’t do the job as well as men can, and when it’s time for a promotion or pay raise, many women find they don’t have a voice.
Fortunately, there are several ways to combat these issues and be successful at a job you love. Here are some of the best tips on how to get ahead in the workplace.
- Assume you’re going to have to work harder
It’s a sad fact that gender matters in the workplace, and many women assume that because it doesn’t matter to them, it won’t matter to their coworkers and boss. There are still those who will pass over a female employee for a promotion because they assume she won’t be able to put in 100% due to having a family. The only way to combat this is to give 110% and work harder than everyone else. Show your boss that you don’t mind working late now and then or putting in long hours on a project; then he’ll have no choice but to see you as the best candidate when it comes time for a promotion. Better yet, find ways to get things done in less time, which is sure to be appreciated (provided the quality of work is up to par).
- Find your voice
It can be difficult for many women to speak up in the workplace, as they fear they’ll be viewed as harsh or hard to work with. Don’t let this keep you from talking about your ideas, asking questions, or communicating with your supervisor about any problems you may have. He’ll appreciate that you are strong-minded enough to express your opinion.
- Learn to communicate
There really is an art to communication, and if you didn’t study it in college, consider taking a class now or looking one up online. Learning how to effectively communicate, listen, and receive criticism and feedback is essential in the business world and will show your boss and coworkers that you are prepared to handle anything that comes your way.
- Ask for what you want
An alarming number of women refrain from asking for a raise compared to their male counterparts. It’s important that you set up a meeting with your boss and ask for what you want. Don’t wait for him to come to you. Beforehand, write down what you’re going to say, complete with bulleted points on why you deserve a raise, and practice it. You want to go in confident and bold, not fumbling and unsure.
- Don’t let sexism go
A lot of women turn the other cheek where sexism is concerned so as to not make waves. Don’t allow it to come into your professional life! If you feel you’ve been passed over for a promotion or unfairly treated because of your gender, speak up. You deserve to work in a fair environment, and that includes being able to do your job without harassment or being asked to do tasks that fall outside of your job description.