It’s certainly not fair in a world where people are, in theory, supposed to get ahead on merit. It’s very clear that there is a gap between the pay and opportunities for men and women. In fact, these problems don’t seem to be improving.

It’s not just the monetary and hierarchy of any given business that poses problems either. You can ask any woman in an office environment, and they will detail the ordeal of trying to push through workplace sexism. Unfortunately, women often have to go above and beyond or behave out of character – to an extent – to get ahead in the workplace, as we detail below.

Accessible additional skills

One of the last things that anyone wants to do after finishing a tough day of work is to study or learn. In fact, as over 120 million women are working in the unorganised sector, some simply won’t see the utility of learning additional skills beyond the scope of the work at hand.

However, it’s been found that the majority of people learn a new language to improve their career. A massive 49.4 percent of students learning English online with native tutors do so for career prospects. Narrowly, the second most common reason for learning Spanish (following education) is for career prospects, and a similar story is seen among those learning French.

Being bilingual, especially in the most globalized languages like English, shows significant hourly pay increases. Some reports indicate that people earn up to 20 percent more hourly if they’re bilingual. It’s also a good way to increase career options, even as a freelance translator or teacher of a different language.

This is just one example of an additional skill that has tangible benefits in the workplace and has been proven to help get people ahead. Now that there are cost-effective, native online tutors ready to teach one-on-one or in groups, it’s much easier to pick up this new skill in your free time.

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Being assertive in a positive way

There are far too many unfair stereotypes about ‘bossy’ women. Although this adjective would not be used to describe a man, in the workplace it’s generally accepted that anyone who tries to make demands of their boss tends to fall behind. Now, it’s important to embrace the catchphrase of women empowerment, but it’s essential to assert it in a positive way for your work prospects.

Even women who can honestly say that they feel empowered often reel away from the necessary assertive behaviors needed to benefit their careers. For example, it was found that women who work hard to get ahead tend to just end up with more work. Instead, you should be sure to bring attention to your achievements and be assertive in taking ownership of your successes. It also helps to request assignments that you think will build your career.

Furthermore, while it may seem rude to some, asking for a pay rise when you think it’s due is certainly an assertive move worth considering. Women are apparently far less likely to request a pay raise or a promotion, and if you don’t ask, then you’ll always be declined the opportunity. To give yourself a better footing in negotiations, it’s well worth finding out the pay for similar roles in similar businesses.

In fairness, all of these tips can also be offered to men who feel that they’re not where they should be in a workplace environment. Regardless, building yourself up with skills and assertive behavior can greatly help your standing.

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