By Joanna Nesbit

Teach girls to ask for a job description. From the beginning, teach girls to ask what their job duties are, says Chandra Childers, senior research scientist for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Clear job descriptions help girls see when they’re being asked to provide extra work for no extra pay. That doesn’t mean shirking existing duties. “You want to get the most out of your job that you can and think about how that propels you forward,” Childers says. “Those first jobs are great opportunities to get skills that set you up down the road.” Teens learn valuable soft skills such as conflict resolution, problem solving and workplace accountability, all of which contribute to future employability. Help girls understand the difference between working hard and consistently being asked for undefined extras.

Teach girls how pay rates are set. Besides knowing what they’ll be paid, girls benefit from asking about the rules that govern raises, Childers says. Understanding how raises are earned shows girls why someone else might have received one and also what is involved in working toward a raise from the beginning. Once employers have laid out the rules on raises, it’s also easier to hold them more accountable.

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