Image by Rachel Bellinsky

Earlier this year we chatted about six different ways we can help close the wage gap in 2018. Every year on Equal Pay Day, we are reminded of the rate at which progress is being made for women in the workforce all over the world. While progress is being made through various initiatives all over the world, it is being made at a slow pace. 

Equal Pay Day serves “as a reminder that we can’t give up on this cause, but instead is beginning to remind me of a birthday we dread. Another turn around the sun with little to celebrate, little accomplished”, according to Hope Sisk, a staff writer for HER Magazine, a digital magazine for bold women in business. 

Awareness with hashtags, t-shirts and poster signs are awesome, but without action, it could be years before #EqualPayDay is no longer a day we recognize every year.

Creating change can be challenging. In hopes to simplify the long journey ahead, we’ve compiled a list of 10 actionable steps that companies and individuals can take to further ensure gender equality and help close the wage gap.

Action Steps for Companies

  1. Conduct pay audits. You don’t know what you can’t see. Taking the time to review and analyze compensation based on gender and race can bring awareness to and help eliminate potential disparity. Tracking this information will make you stand out not only as an organization but will help create transparency and build trust from within.
#EqualPayDay Fact: Only 58% of companies track salaries in comparable roles by gender, and only 34% track bonuses by gender. “ According to the Women in the Workplace 2017 report by @leaninorg. Click To Tweet

2. Train managers to understand the impact of gender bias. Conscious bias, unconscious bias and mindsets on leadership styles all play a role in leveling the playing field for women.

3. Make sure women have equal opportunity for advancement. Opportunities that accelerate careers must be equally available from both men and women. Things like access to mentorship, training, promotions and challenging assignments.

4. Make it a norm for women to negotiate.

5. Offer workplace flexibility. Once example is Trader Joe’s, who has taken huge strides in offering flexibility and better workplace culture.

For individuals

6.Become an ally for another female coworker. One example of this is to challenge the “likeability penalty.” When a colleague is called “bossy” or “aggressive” ask for a specific example of what the woman did and ask if they would have the same reaction if a man did the same thing.

7. Give direct feedback. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, “women are systematically less likely to receive specific feedback tied to outcomes, both when they receive praise and when the feedback is developmental. In other words, men are offered a clearer picture of what they are doing well and more-specific guidance of what is needed to get to the next level.”

8. Encourage more women to just go for it. Men apply for jobs when they meet 60% of the hiring criteria, while women wait until we meet 100 percent. This is a simple thing to do and that can be done immediately. 

9. Mentor and advocate for other women. Celebrate the accomplishments of women, fund a female run company and mentor emerging leaders.

10. Coach young girls to speak with confidence.

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