Exactly 50 years ago, our country finally made strides to eliminate the wage gap between male and female workers. Fast forward to today and we are still battling this same problem. Women like Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Marie Claire editor-in-chief Anne Fulenwider constantly voice their concerns about the $1 to 77 cents pay ratio, in order to continue the conversation and create a sense of transparency in companies across the country. While we may not be able to directly change the law or our salaries, we can do everything possible to show we're worth the same (or more!) in our daily lives. In honor of the Equal Pay Act anniversary, I've felt a sudden motivation to kick butt in my professional life, and here's my game plan:
Wake up and work out
Believe me, I'm not always a chipper morning person, but if there's one thing I've noticed about successful go-getters, it's that they carve out time to exercise as soon as they wake up. Not only is it an amazing way to start your day, but it also increases your chances of working out regularly, according to Cedric Bryant, the chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise.
I'm starting this routine with a 15-minute regimen every morning - jumping jacks, jogging, squats, planks - and switching up the sets each day. By the time I get to work, I'm awake, alert and ready to tackle all of my daily tasks - and then some! It also doesn't hurt that I use the elemis cellutox active body concentrate every morning after I exercise, because a sound body is key to an equally focused mind.
Skip casual Friday
You know that saying, dress for the job you want, not the job you have? Well, that applies to casual Fridays, too, in my opinion. Even when jeans - and even T-shirts - are accepted in the workplace, according to your company's policy, you should dress for success, and not go one step below professional attire.
"Navigating casual Friday shows how well you understand the culture of your firm," Laura Lopata, founder of New York firm Accent on Image, told Marie Claire. "It's one of the many things your superiors are looking at in order to move you up and into a leadership position."
Here's the trick I've learned when it comes to casual Fridays: Even if people are wearing casual flip flops or sandals, the most informal I go with shoes is my earth® paradise sandal. The wedge keeps the look formal and reminds colleagues that I'm serious about the company culture and my work.
Part of getting what you deserve is knowing what that is. Fortunately for me, my workplace openly embraces communication between all employees. I know for others, there's a sense of disconnect between managers and among departments, and sparking up conversations about your worth may not be the easiest thing to do. It might sound silly, but here's what you need to do: Arrange a conversation with your managers and set up a spa session for that same week. Treat yourself to a massage and go over all of the reasons why you deserve to be recognized, by both merit and pay. Rachel Donofrio, regional data coordinator at Whole Foods, says preparation is absolutely essential to getting what you want.
"My advice for women looking to make what they're worth is to be prepared and straightforward when having a conversation about their wages," Donofrio told Refinery29.
What that means is you should walk into your meeting with your list of projects and responsibilities, information about the general minimum, maximum and median salaries for your field, and a decided number that you're comfortable with. If it isn't met, then you'll get to walk away confidently.