There has been a lot of talk lately about how it’s harder for women to climb the corporate ladder than it is for men. If you’re a woman trying to make it in the corporate world, you shouldn’t be discouraged though. Learn how to play the game right in order to succeed. Check out this article for a few tips that will help.

Ambitious employees in corporate America are always looking for ways to get ahead. If you’re a woman, the road can be tougher. For example, women only held around 16-percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies in 2011. Even with a lot of companies trying to uqual it out, it can still be difficult for a woman to break into top jobs. However, if you’re disciplined and keep a positive attitude in the workplace, your chances of being noticed and slowly make your way to the top significantly increase.

Corporations can be a ruthless environment for women looking to climb the hierarchy. Besides hard work, you’ll also need to know how to deal with office politics, overcome challenges, and stand up for yourself. We have a few useful tips that will help you prove to yourself and to others that you have what it takes to succeed.

Work hard

Without hard work, climbing the corporate ladder is rather impossible, whether you’re a man or a woman. Exceed everyone’s expectations, do more than your job description, don’t say no to staying overtime every now and then or do the work no one else wants to do. Help out your colleagues, prove you’re a team player, and constantly struggle to make your supervisor’s job easier. You’ll get noticed much faster this way.

Additionally, always be on the lookout for ways to take on more responsibility in the workplace. Take the initiative on as many projects as possible and convince managers to trust you with more complicated tasks. This way, your supervisors will start to view you as a proactive and enthusiastic employee.

Be confident

Confidence is key in the corporate world. If you don’t believe in yourself, there’s a slight chance those around you will. Don’t act like you don’t belong there – carry yourself with confidence and you’ll be noticed faster. Be assertive and speak up in meetings when you have something valuable to add to the conversation. Never hesitate when being asked to take on more responsibility and make sure to voice your own achievements. Women are usually less proactive than men when it comes to singing their own praises.

On the other hand, keep in mind that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Yes, your supervisors should be aware of your accomplishments, but don’t fall into the trap of bragging.

Make sure you’re paid what you’re worth

It seems like everybody is talking about the gender pay gap since the firing of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson. More recently, The Crimson released the results of their annual survey conducted among Harvard graduates; the study reveals that the median starting salary for all students is between $50,000 and $69,999, with 11-percent making more than $90,000. However, while 19-percent of male graduates will be making that high-end salary, only 4-percent of female grads will enjoy the same pay. In fact, women are more likely to be making salaries at the lower end of the scale or even take unpaid jobs. You can read more on the subject here.

Don’t let the statistics get to you – instead, use them to your advantage. Do a little research to find out how much colleagues holding your job at other companies are making. Then, think about your role in the company and your accomplishments. Does it seem like you’re making less than you should? If so, it’s time to discuss the issue with your supervisor. Bargaining over money can be an awkward and painful affair, true, but it’s necessary if you want to show your boss that you are willing to stand up for yourself and fight for what’s yours. Highlight your achievements and prove that you’re an invaluable employee. If you ask for a raise and the answer is ‘no’, don’t give up. Ask what you can do next to change it into a ‘yes’ and work even harder to meet your boss’ expectations.

Foster work relationships

You likely already know how important networking is, so this is just a reminder to foster good work relationships with decision-makers within your company. Establish positive relationships with your colleagues and supervisors. Smile often, chat around the water cooler, offer your help every once in a while.

Also, a good idea is to find a mentor to guide you along the way. A successful woman who already managed to climb the corporate ladder within the company can offer invaluable advice. If you can’t get close to one, look for role models working for competing businesses. Their experience will surely help you out a lot.

Follow these tips and you’ll be on for the path to corporate success. If you believe in yourself and don’t run away from hard work you can steadily advance your career and make it in the business world.