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.

  • Recognise and balance imposter syndrome

Feelings of inadequacy and being a fraud, affects everyone at some point in their lives. Whilst these thoughts can be debilitating, they can also fuel personal improvement if managed correctly. “We don’t have to wait for our confidence to rise to achieve challenging goals – we can build it through achieving challenging goals’ (Grant, 2021).   Balancing this way of thinking takes real effort. Work on identifying your key skills and build up confidence in your ability to apply them. Recognise when self-doubt is sabotaging the types of opportunities you consider yourself suitable for. Sometimes getting someone else’s perspective can help to 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 suspect you could be capable of doing the job then you probably can –   challenge yourself to convince yourself of this and then the hiring manager.

  • 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. If you are working, speak to your HR department to gain clarity on salary bands. Do your research into job adverts that are similar to your own.

www.emolument.com and www.glassdoor.co.uk are useful sites to 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.