Well, here’s a shocker: A new global study of women in their 30s found they don’t leave jobs because they’re worried about family obligations. They leave because employers won’t pay and promote them. “Surprisingly,” reads the report, “young women identified finding a higher paying job, a lack of learning and development, and a shortage of interesting and meaningful work as the primary reasons why they may leave.”

This is only surprising if you have never spoken to a woman in her 30s. Most women don’t have to be exhorted to care more about work or apply themselves more vigorously. They are all in — no lean about it. The problem is that, all too often, their efforts are not recognized, cultivated, and compensated in the way their male colleagues’ are. This is often spun into a complex issue that some of corporate America’s brightest minds have struggled to solve — the stuff of Supreme Court cases and contentious legislation.

Ann Friedman has three simple steps to retain women.

Those steps are “pay women more”, incidentally. All of them.

Also, protip to men reading this: If you’re talking to a woman, and she tells you the salary she’s being paid, and you think she’s not being paid enough, then absolutely do not under any circumstances harp on at her about how she’s being “taken advantage of”. Or whatever. Because she knows. Trust me, she knows. If she says, “I think I’m being underpaid” you can mildly agree with her and state that structural inequality is bullshit. But otherwise: shut the fuck up. Women do not need you to mansplain the wage gap to us–or, worse, “leaning in”–and there are a tonne of reasons why we take jobs that, to you, might seem “underpaid”. I can almost guarantee you that you do not have firsthand experience with what those reasons are.

But, dudes. If you think a woman is being underpaid, there is one thing you can do: get her a job that pays more. If you own a business, employ her. If you know someone who owns a business, pass her details along. This, is useful. It’s useful because it’s a tangible action that happens far less for women than it does for men. So do it! “Advice”: no.1 Action: yes!

Because, trust me; we’ve all had our fill of men’s “advice”.

  1. I once heard advice described as “the help you give when you don’t actually want to give any help.” Which… yeah.