If you have a partner, have a quick chat about the gap. This is a dialogue, not a one-and-done conversation, but you can get the ball rolling. A recent survey showed that while men increasingly expect and encourage women to work outside the home (great)…they still don’t pick up the work inside of it (um, not great). I’m not opposed to resurrecting the chore wheel.
#3. Spend intentionally.
Quick question: When was the last time you heard about a guy “splurging” on something? Not unheard of, but it’s way more common to describe how women spend money. As women, we get messages all our lives about being bad with money—when the real problem is that we don’t have enough of it.
So I’m very over restrictive budgets and condescending advice. Instead, I’m a fan of what we call “intentional spending”— that is, simply being mindful of what you’re spending on now, and matching what you’re spending now to the things that are most important to you. No judgment, no guilt, just a practice.
Today, take 10 minutes to list your money goals. That could include travel, buying a house, paying off high-interest debt, supporting causes you care about, retiring in style, starting a business and/or a family. (I’d throw in building an emergency fund if you’ve got one.) Just having these goals written down can help you be more aware of—and mindful about—your spending decisions.
#4. Work on getting paid what you’re worth.
The clock on the gender pay gap seems to be permanently stuck at around 230 years from closing for all women, and here’s the deal: No matter how much leaning in we do, we can’t promote ourselves. We’re dependent on our boss, and on the culture of our workplace…and too often, they’re not doing the work to check their own bias.
Four things you can do today to stand in your worth:
Talk to your friends. Successful women actually network differently than successful men—and the key is an inner circle of trusted contacts we can talk to about things like handling bias. And yes, talk about salary, because how do you know what to ask for if you don’t know what other people are making?
Talk to your coworkers about salary, too. That one can feel really intrusive, I know. I’m a huge fan of Caitlin Boston, who bumped her pay by 41% with the “over/under” approach. Instead of asking for exact salaries, she asked coworkers if they made over or under a number she gave them. It worked. (And she was able to pay off a quarter-million dollars of student debt, btw.)
Review the goals your boss set for you. Is your day-to-day work getting you to those goals, or are you spending time on other things? If there’s a disconnect, it’s fine to check in with your boss to see if they think your goals have changed.
Set up a reminder and a document to track your wins each week. It’s so much easier to track it now than to have to remember it later on when you’re making the ask.
#5. Support other women.
When women support women, magic happens. This weekend, shop women-owned businesses. Hell, do it for a month.
We live in the only industrialized nation that doesn’t provide paid family leave. Sign this petition and (if you don’t already), start calling it “family leave” instead of “mat leave”—if people start taking leave regardless of gender, there won’t be as much backlash to caregivers.
And keep on posting your support and your stories. I can’t wait to see what you share.
Sallie L. Krawcheck is the CEO and cofounder of Ellevest, a digital financial adviser for women launched in 2016. She is a former CEO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Smith Barney.