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Learn how to be more assertive in the workplace

(Metro) Gender equality in the professional arena has come a long way in the 21st century. But while great strides have been made over the last two decades, women still face challenges unique to females as they look to establish themselves professionally and advance their careers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women still earn roughly 80 percent of what men are paid in the same positions. Professional women often must walk the thin line between being too nice or too aggressive, a pressure not often faced by men. Assertiveness is an art for both genders, and women can take steps to be more assertive without giving the impression they’re ruffling feathers.

Be confident in your speech. It is easy to fall into “weaker language” habits when advocating for an idea. If unsure about the reaction to a proposal, you might say, “I think this is a good idea” or “I believe this will impart change.”

More assertive language is to simply stand behind the point: “This is a good idea.”...

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