Some of the frequently mentioned sources of the wage gap are women's own behavior — we are seen as girlish instead of authoritative, as emotional instead of efficient, and because of these perceptions, our hard work does not pay off. For some help with my own professional image I turned to the much vaunted Nice Girls Don't Get The Corner Office: 101 Unconscious Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers by Lois P. Frankel.
Don't let the title turn you off — Frankel isn't saying that you have to compromise your morals and ethics or that you should start making rude remarks. She has identified the behaviors that we learned as girls, that today are holding us back in our quest to become successful career women. Her book starts with an evaluation of your behavior today so you can narrow in on what you need to improve in order to move ahead, because odds are you aren't making all 101 mistakes. Unfortunately, though, making just a handful can relegate you to permanent cubicle dwelling.
She uses a straightforward approach, allotting a page to explaining what the mistake is (because how will you know if you are making it if you don't know what it is), and another page or two to explaining what the alternative behavior is — whether it is learning the rules of your office or how to take criticism without over-apologizing. Best of all, it's possible to incorporate a new behavior each day unlike many self-help books whose change-everything-about-yourself-right-now approach can be overwhelming.