I would like to think so. Here are some good starting points for women specifically:
There are some areas that we need to address as a society:
- Women get paid less for the same work.
- The lower pay is "explained" by a less prestigious job title.
- Women are perceived as likely to quit because of reproductive and childrearing concerns.
- Women find it tougher to get into the "old boys' network"--we can't talk about business at the urinal. (Or the football game, the golf course--substitute your favorite non-taboo mostly-guys activity.)
But there are some specific things individual women can do to boost career success. Things they've been trained not to do:
- Women can and should be more proactive in negotiating salary and pay raises. See this "why and how" article: http://www.theladders.com/career-advice/womans-guide-to-successful-salary-negotiation. For whatever reason, nature or nurture, women are statistically more likely to take the first offer, without asking for more. Failing to ask for more over the course of a career lifetime can add up to some astonishing deficits.
- Women can and should practice until they are comfortable self-promoting. It is not "bitchy" or rude to know what your own strengths are, and be able to articulate them clearly in appropriate situations. http://www.w2wlink.com/Articles/Four-Myths-Self-Promotion-artid428.aspx
- Women can and should cultivate a speaking voice that conveys authority. There are different ways of doing this. One way is lowering the pitch of your voice. But if you've ever listened to the character Bernadette on "The Big Bang Theory," you'll recognize that power is not always the same as basso profundo. http://www.levo.com/articles/career-advice/women-leader-voice-energetic-study