What is the best way to help women thrive in the workplace? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
The most important thing is to support each other. We have to be comfortable coaching our peers. It takes practice, it can be uncomfortable and sometimes it may not go well, but it's the most likely place women will turn to for help.
Women should first understand their value and their own self worth - that they are talented, deserving and can contribute even in the early days of their career. It's an honor to any employer that you choose to bring your own talent to them. All women deserve to have high expectations of the company they work for (it's supposed to be a relationship!) so be demanding and work harder so you know when you have the right to be demanding.
I want to empower women to feel comfortable asking their employer for whatever it is that they need - whether that's more resources, a higher salary, development opportunities, flexibility in their schedule or mentorship. When it comes to advocating for yourself, try to have a good sense of timing and prepare your manager for conversations in advance. Say, "In our meeting next week, I want to talk about my career path, development and compensation." Do the research and put yourself in the strongest position to understand how your job compares to what's out there in terms of level and compensation. If you've done your research, it's a different conversation than just saying "I want a raise". Your HR department can provide comparable salary ranges so you have context going into the discussion.
Beyond that, always show that you're paying attention to the larger strategy and vision of the company. When you share status updates with your boss, tying the results back to that larger business strategy is a stand-out move at any age or level.
Ask smart questions, stay humble and learn from every opportunity. And always celebrate other women finding success.
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