Though the gender pay gap has significantly closed over the past few decades, women still make less than men. Pew research concludes that women make roughly 16-18 cents less per dollar than their male counterparts. And around 42% of women say they’ve undergone gender discrimination in the workplace.

These statistics show that women still struggle when it comes to getting fair treatment and wages. If you’re a female business leader, you can help other women overcome gender bias and inequality by taking action. Specifically, you can help women who are just starting after earning their degrees get a great start. That way, they’ll be more likely to have an easier route to achieving the success they dream about.

Not sure what you can do to move the needle? Here are four ideas on where to start.

1. Speak up when you see budding superstars.

KPMG conducted research on imposter syndrome not long ago. After surveying female executives, the firm found that three-quarters of participants admit to having dealt with the condition. In other words, young women may be sabotaging themselves by believing that they have no place being in business.

When you see a woman who doesn’t recognize her potential, say something. She might be struggling with imposter syndrome, which leaves her unable to believe she can do and be more. Virginia McDermott, Ph.D., the Dean of High Point University’s Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, makes it a practice to talk to students who are leaders in the making but haven’t tapped into their leadership talents.

McDermott recalls one experience talking with a female student about earning an advanced degree. “I asked her if she was planning to go to graduate school, and she said she had never considered it,” she says. “We talked about why she would excel in graduate school, and she decided to apply. Well, she did excel and is now the economic development officer of a city. She cites that conversation as giving her the confidence to push herself outside her comfort zone.”

2. Offer to be an informal (or formal) mentor.

Though the majority of people believe that mentorships are important, Olivet Nazarene University researchers found that just 37% have a mentor. That’s tragic, especially for young women who are just starting to navigate the realities, politics, and opportunities of the corporate world.

Mentorships provide the chance for women new to the professional workforce to ask questions and learn real-world advice. For example, they can lean on their mentors to help them problem-solve or develop a career path roadmap. This allows them to more confidently advance in their development in the years ahead.

You don’t need to wait for your company to start a formal mentoring program to be a young woman’s mentor. Consider having coffee with the young female hire down the hall who seems eager to grow and learn. Or contact a local college’s career advisors to see if any recent or upcoming female graduates could use a mentor. Any help you can give can make the road less challenging for the next generation of female employees, entrepreneurs, and executives.

3. Stay connected with interns after they leave.

Is your business one of the many that offers internships to college students? Pay attention to the female interns who impress you with their skill sets. Get to know them a little better and see what they want to do with their lives. Then, when their internships are over, stay in touch via social media, email, or text.

Dropping a line every once in a while allows you to be a guide for a young woman. Additionally, it may be a way to fast-track someone into a full-time position. Writing for SHRM, Kate Rockwood explains that internships can “create a new crop of employees for a company’s specific business needs.” Statistics support that assertion, revealing that 70% of companies that provide internships make employment offers to their most impressive interns. If you’re in a hiring manager position, you may be able to snag a high-performing recent graduate before your competition does.

Having trouble coming up with something to say to interns after they are back in school? Send them information on workshops or events you think they might want to attend. Your outreach efforts will encourage communication between the two of you.

4. Share thought leadership content geared toward Gen Z women.

Thanks to the power of the Internet, you can have a welcome, positive, and lasting effect on young women seeking professional careers. First, get active on social media. Brand yourself as someone who welcomes questions from young up-and-comers in need of proven business advice. 

Next, start publishing material such as articles and videos that might be of interest to Generation Z professionals. When you’re investigating which publications to publish on, remember to include sites like TikTok. Link to all your published materials on your social pages to get as much coverage and publicity as possible.

Becoming the go-to person to provide thought leadership to young women in your field could be a boost for your career as well. The more you drill down into your niche, the more you might be able to expand your influence and credibility. You’ll do something good for others while doing something good for you, too.

Maybe you had to climb the corporate ladder and fight against the gender pay gap alone. Do you really want other women to do the same? Once you’re near the top, reach a hand to female professionals on the first couple of rungs. They’ll appreciate the lift—and they’ll be that much more likely to pass on your kindness when it’s their turn to step into the role of mentor.


  • Brittany Hodak

    Keynote Speaker and Author

    Brittany Hodak is an award-winning entrepreneur, author, and customer experience speaker who has delivered keynotes across the globe to organizations including American Express and the United Nations. She has written hundreds of articles for Forbes, Adweek, Success, and other top publications; she has appeared on programs on NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN; and she has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands and entertainers, including Walmart, Disney, Katy Perry, and Dolly Parton. She originated the role of Chief Experience Officer at, and she founded and scaled an entertainment startup to eight figures before exiting. Entrepreneur magazine calls her “the expert at creating loyal fans for your brand.” Brittany’s debut book, Creating Superfans, will be in stores on January 10, 2023.