NEXT WEDNESDAY YOU STOP EARNING FOR THE YEAR....

Yup, Equal Pay Day next Wednesday, represents the day that, in comparison to full-time working men, full-time working women effectively stop working for the year. We currently lag behind on the equal pay front by a eyes-wide-and-shocked, 18 per cent, and in actual paid working days that equates to our salaries stopping next Wednesday until January 2017. 

It's shocking; it's unfair; it's bloody insulting, but it's the truth - and all of us needs to acknowledge and do what we can to try and lessen - ultimately, remove - this pay gap. While we're realists and know that change takes time - here are three steps that all of us can take today to get people engaged in the debate - and secure yourself some more dineros too. 

1. Stylist Magazine is encouraging that all working women leave their desks at 3.34pm next Wednesday, 18 per cent earlier than usual (based on a normal, 9-5pm working day). Their office will be female-free at this time, and perhaps yours should be too? Stylist is running an amazing campaign to support #EqualPayDay, so click on and have a look. Then, print out their letter, and give it to your boss. 

2. Don't be afraid to negotiate. One of the reasons that women lag behind - and it is certainly not the most pertinent - is that many of us don't negotiate hard enough when it comes to pay rises and new salaries. No one likes talking about money, not least when we're asking someone much more senior to give us more of it, but asking for money is not a crime. If it helps, before your review, or if you're negotiating a new package, create a list of everything that you've done/will do for the company - proof of the financial reward you think you deserve. If you can go in well prepared, with black and white evidence that you're worth it, pay rises aren't just easier to ask for, they're more likely to happen too.  

3. In 2018, in a move that has been resisted by business groups, companies in the UK with more than 250 employees will have to disclose how much they are paying, in both salaries and bonuses, to their male and female staff. This should help the ball roll faster to parity, but it's still a long way off. In the meantime, and with this blog post as your proof, encourage your employer to fess up now. Be a pioneer at your work, and within your industry. If nothing else your vision and courage will be noted and hopefully it will also get more women and men talking about #EqualPayDay.