Mind the gap: Stay proactive to achieve progression

There are a number of personal development activities worth focusing upon to maximise your success at work.

Keep moving up the ladder

According to research (UK Statistics Authority), only 12% of full-time positions with a salary of £150,000 or over are held by women. Gender pay gap reporting reflects this, exceeding 50% at senior management level.

Creating your own active support system is vital. Seek out people willing to help you identify and reflect upon your aspirations as well as sharing their own experiences and genuine advice. Finding a mentor or coach can be transformative. Also, you will almost certainly find others who you can support in the same way.

Remain proactive. Be an active listener. Take action.

  • Click here to access our Networking Tools.

Recognise and block negative thinking 

Feelings of inadequacy and being a fraud, affects everyone at some point in their lives. However, it can ultimately influence the types of opportunities you consider suitable for yourself. Blocking this way of thinking takes real effort. Work on identifying your key skills and build up confidence in your ability to apply them. Sometimes getting someone else’s perspective can help do this.

Often, two people considering the same job for which they both have 60% of the requirements listed, will have diametrically opposed responses. One might think “I don’t have 40% of those requirements, therefore I shouldn’t apply”. The other might consider “I have 60% of the required skills so I should go for it”.

If you think you are capable of doing the job, then challenge yourself to convince the hiring manager.

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Become a confident negotiator

A study undertaken by the Cass Business School indicated that although women ask for a pay increase as often as men do, men are 25% more likely to receive the amount they requested. One reason might be fear of potential backlash or general lack of assertion in their requests.

A confident approach combined with thorough research are key to a successful negotiation. Speak with your HR department to gain clarity on salary bands. Do research into job adverts that are similar to your own. This way you can gain a transparent view of current market rates.  Define your expectations and express your requirements and the rationale behind your request calmly.

Recent research conducted by the European Institute for Gender Equality showed that on average, women still earn 20% less than men. Similar results were measured in the US, where the gender pay gap sits at 21%, while Australia has a 17% gap.

  • Click here for information on how to ask for a pay rise.