Women’s rights have come a long way in the last century ― no doubt about it. But as far as equality has come, there’s still plenty of room for improvement.

Business is one of the most obvious realms in need of a good update for women. In search of the connection between women and leadership, the American Council On Education did a report that revealed some profound (though not surprising) discrepancies between male and female professionals.

They found that while over half of all college students were female; only a quarter of professors were female. What’s more, these female professors made only 82% of the salary earned by their male counterpart.

Clearly, the professional world still doesn’t see women as equals among men.    

Yes, we’re making it in the business world. And, each and every day, another woman manages to climb her way to sit with the business elite. But we’re still outnumbered by male professionals, and they’re making more money without bringing extra qualifications to the table.

So, how does a woman get equal pay and position when the odds are against her?  

Never See Things As Unfair

The moment you feel sorry for yourself, you give up all your power. Nothing will change by whining about how unfair something is. Instead, you should be studying this “unfair” situation and contemplate what kind of tweaking would get you the results you’re after. Then take action. Pity is the go-to when people get upset, but action is the only thing that will get a person what they want. Men and women alike.

Get To Know Management (Like, Really)

If you’ve spent any time in any sort of business environment, you know that knowing the right people makes life 1000x easier. Having someone to back you up makes it easier for your ideas to be heard (nevertheless considered). It also gives you someone who will vouch for you when other people won’t.

Make a deliberate effort to make friends with office management in HR and administration. They’re the ones keeping the office running, and they can do things that could really help you out in a bind. And while getting time with the big dogs in upper management can be tricky, the team handling HR and administrative matters has an in. And that could really come in handy later.

When it’s all said and done, these relationships will help you in ways you won’t know until later. Plus, it gives you an office buddy. Those are always good to have.

Know Your Worth

You can find stats on salaries and pay for virtually every type of professional job. Figure out what the average pay is and compare that to your own. Better yet, scour the web for local jobs that that match your duties, experience, and qualifications. You want to have a solid idea of what other people are being paid and why. Once you have a solid cause for frustration, you have an argument that can’t be denied. If there’s something that needs to be said, be strong, remember that you’re standing up for yourself and schedule a meeting with your director or hiring manager.

Become Invaluable By Helping Others

This dog-eat-dog world has everyone out for themselves. It’s hard to find someone to rely on, so we’re all packing a hell of a workload on our shoulders. This makes a reliable, go-getter gal an insane asset. There’s no doubt that we score favoritism by helping people out, but our helpful acts benefit ourselves as much as the workplace. Being mindful of other’s needs and troubles makes us valuable to coworkers, and makes us a rare wildflower to management. Of course, you have to mean it, and you’ve got to make sure you’re helping yourself as much as others. But do it, and you’re sure to have help later on. Your example may even spark a change in office dynamics that will revolutionize the whole office.       

Develop Your Female Qualities Into Strengths

Men and women aren’t that different if you think about it, but we do have our certain strengths and weaknesses. If we strive towards it, we can all come together as a team and really get things done. So, don’t feel like you have to be like other men in the workplace. Working with a “strong-headed” male will require women to be just as strong in order to be productive (because ideas don’t get considered without a loud voice and a strong case). We don’t have to change how we are though.

Women vary from one to another, but there are traits common to the female gender. As we all know, ladies are known for talking, “nit-picking” details, and being emotional. We often get a bad wrap for it, but the womanly art of communicating, feeling, and organizing truly make women a powerful force in business. Structure and efficiency with a dash of harmony and understanding (and eye for decor) is just what the office needed!   

Studies also show that — compared to men — women prefer strategy over taking risks.  Pair these strategizing ways with strong communication and emotional awareness, and you’ve got a woman that can see potential problems before they develop. Plus, she can clearly communicate a wide array of details that’s authoritative, but also respectful. Now, that’s power.

Women may not have all the testosterone of a man, but estrogen has a power all of it’s own. Stand strong and own who you are. And never settle for anything that leaves you short of content. You’re the only person in this world who can advocate for you. So stop letting yourself down, and start rooting for you today. If you’re ready to empower the heck out of your lady-self, check out this list of 30 online resources for women in business.

About The Author

Ash Stevens (“Asha”) is a writer who doubles as a pretend philosopher and a wannabe shaman. When she isn’t writing her soul out on her blog, she’s listening to the great minds (or great comedians) on YouTube, soaking up sunshine, or having yet another fascinating conversation with herself (she gives excellent advice, you know). Find her on Twitter or Facebook and make a new friend!