Empowering Women At Work: What You Can Do

The gender pay gap is a complicated issue that can't be solved by one corporate initiative or piece of legislation. No matter how you run the numbers, there are fewer women in high-paying jobs and leadership roles, and the difference in pay between men and women increases as you climb the corporate ladder.

So it's time to take action into your own hands. No matter your gender, age, job level or location, here are 7 things anybody can do to help close the gender pay gap.

1. Know your market value.

Only 19% of women say their employer has a transparent pay process. If you don't know how much you should be earning, use PayScale.com to find out if you are being underpaid.

2. Negotiate.

Men are 4x as likely to ask for a raise or promotion as women. If you are being underpaid, ask for what you're worth! Every time you negotiate, it makes it easier for other women to do the same. And don't forget, 75% of people who ask for a raise get more money!

3. Set #SquadGoals.

Find supportive male and female colleagues and support and celebrate each others' accomplishments publicly.

4. Find a sponsor (or be one).

Men who say they have professional role models in their company earn 24% more than women who say the same. Mentorship isn't enough -- find an executive in your company who knows your career goals and will advocate for you. And if you are in the position to sponsor somebody, do it!

5. Educate yourself.

Learn about hidden biases that affect your behavior and the behavior of the people you work with. Check out https://managingbias.fb.com/ or http://implicit.harvard.edu/ for free quizzes and videos.

6. Model good behavior.

Be an example for work-life balance standards that you want, identify bad behavior when you see it at work, and speak out if you notice that candidate pools for a particular job lack in diversity.

7. Speak your mind.

Let your employer know what matters to you! Talk to your boss, your HR department and your executive team about things like bias training, parental leave, leadership development for females and minorities and more.