When you’re conversing with your colleagues, the subject of pay may come up. If they start sharing their salaries, you might discover that your male coworkers – who hold the same job as you – earn more than you do for equal work. Such a revelation is unfortunate, yet it’s all too common.

In 2019, women earned 79 cents to every man’s dollar. If you find yourself in this situation, following these tips can help you achieve fair pay.

Negotiate your salary

When women ask for a raise, they face rejection more often than their male coworkers. This difference is noteworthy because women and men negotiate pay at the same rate. Yet, women under 40 who request raises report receiving them at an equal rate to their male colleagues. And this movement toward parity will likely continue as more women fill professional and management roles. By negotiating your pay, you take a step toward closing the gap, even if your boss denies your request at first.

Take the legal route

Yet, you may find negotiation completely futile. What’s more, your boss may try retaliating against you for asserting yourself. Under the Equal Pay Act, this is illegal. Since its ratification in 1963, this law has decreed that women and men must earn the same pay for equal work. If your company flouts this act, you have the option of pursuing a civil suit against them. Working with an employment law professional can help you defend your right to equal pay.