Recent data has shown the pandemic’s impact on the gender pay gap—and it's not pretty. The group Equal Rights Advocacy recently announced that at our current pace, we won’t close the gender pay gap until 2157. In other words, it’s possible women will continue to earn less than men for another 135 years.

As women, what can we do individually to help close the gap?

Start with yourself—how you show up, how you share your voice, and how you promote your personal brand. My decades of experience training women to build strong, authentic professional identities have shown me how instrumental personal branding can be in advocating for yourself and uplifting other women in the workplace.
Here are my best strategies for using personal branding to support women.

1. Build an unimpeachable brand

As women, we are not always taught to celebrate and promote ourselves. And it’s hard to uplift others without a solid foundation of your own. That’s why the first step to supporting other women professionally is building a strong personal brand for yourself.
To construct the foundation you need, begin by figuring out what your professional values are (a coach or journaling practice can help you). These values should feel fitting and authentic to you.
Now that you know what matters to you, be intentional and upfront about your values. On every platform available to you and in every interaction, share what you care about to create robust context around your words and actions. As you share honest and intentional content, you’ll cultivate a network of people who share your values, too. And you’ll inspire others to find their values and voice and to show up more proactively and authentically.

2. Embody your most authentic self

In the workplace, women deal with the challenge of having to advocate for themselves without appearing pushy. Women who are strong are commonly perceived as aggressive whereas men acting strong are more often considered assertive go-getters. And feminine-coded traits such as vulnerability, nurturing, and empathy are often waved away as weakness in the professional world.
So how can you stand firm in your authentic brand while avoiding the minefield of image pitfalls women navigate in the workplace? What’s important is not hiding your authentic personality but rather encouraging others to be more authentic by being genuine yourself.
In my coaching work, I encourage leaders to lean into their vulnerability and authenticity, as this is what makes us relatable and understandable to others. As human beings, we are emotionally driven—that's why brand is all about feelings.

3. Uplift other women

I’ve noticed that the overwhelming majority of the international women I coach value collaboration, cross-promotion, and support. This penchant for community building is not only inspiring and motivating; it’s also vital in the fight to close the gender pay gap.
These women mentor others to pass along their own experience and learning, they promote and advance women from marginalized communities to showcase their strengths and break down misconceptions, and they practice healthy work-life balance. The latter may be the hardest. We’re no good to others if we aren’t good to ourselves. Be a role model by maintaining an appropriate and consistent work ethic and making your “me time” a priority, as well.
Instead of trying to be like someone else, learn how to be the best and realest you. Ask for help, show kindness to others, spend time mentoring and investing in new team members, share your insights and opinions. These actions give permission for others to do the same, enriching the entire team and organization.
When we include and support others, we build a community and work fabric that is strong, sustainable, and transferrable. In supporting women, we showcase what makes us unique, valuable, and worthy of equality at all levels. Branding is how you’ll clarify and communicate your individual worth and value and draw others to your vision for a better and fairer future.


Lida Citroën