The unfortunate truth is that the corporate world isn’t built on a level playing field. Indeed, despite recent strides to help close the gender pay gap, women still only make about 80% of what their male counterparts do. And lamentably, women are still underrepresented at the highest level of upper-management positions. The good news is, there are ways that women can upset the odds and buck these trends. To that end, here are four ways ambitious women can get a leg up in the corporate workplace:
Embrace New Ideas
Women bring a particular set of skills to the table that men in leadership positions often lack. So rather than trying to mimic the way male executives act, women looking to advance in their company should instead focus on the skills that make them unique. Providing a service or perspective that no one else in your company can is a fantastic way to increase your value as an employee.
Ask Questions and Build Relationships
No one ever achieved anything of note without help from others. The same is the case for business success. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, make sure not to burn any bridges along the way. And always be willing to chat and ask questions of those who know more than you do. Admitting what you do and don’t understand is vital if you’re going to improve your standing in the professional world.
Be Willing to Branch Out
Sometimes despite your best efforts, advancement is impossible within a company itself. That’s when innovative thinkers need to consider going into business on their own. Women-run businesses contribute to a huge portion of the economy, and there are a number of success stories young women can look to for inspiration. However, women who start their own companies need to be aware that finding requisite funding can sometimes prove difficult. Even though landing business loans and securing startup capital may not be the first things entrepreneurs like to think about, they can help you get your business off the ground. Additionally, alternative lending options like an unsecured business line of credit, or a merchant cash advance can provide you a way forward if traditional routes fail you.
Don’t Apologize or Compromise
Wanting to achieve big successes in your career is nothing to be ashamed of. So don’t feel pressure to cull your ambitions or limit yourself just because others around you feel uncomfortable. More and more women are seeking to reach new heights in nearly every industry imaginable –– and hopefully society will achieve gender harmony soon. Until then though, don’t feel pressured to ask for less just because women have received less in the past. Instead, stick to your convictions and hold onto your dreams. Without them, you’ll always be fighting an uphill battle.