7 Surprising Ways To Gain Respect At Work

By now, you've likely spent entirely too much of your young-adult life on the receiving end of career advice offered by everyone from high-school guidance counselors to your aunt who cannot understand why you don't own a black blazer. You can probably even rattle off the main offenders — think platitudes like "pay your dues" and "be a yes person" — from memory. Hearing these questionable tips over and over is more than just annoying, though. It could be hurting your career.

And that's exactly what we don't​ need, considering the obstacles we're already up against. According to Women In The Workplace, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company's report on gender and corporate America, women are underrepresented on every rung of the ladder (from entry level to the C-suite) and hold just 20% of the senior vice president positions, let alone those higher up. Furthermore, when women do take the initiative to ask for promotions, they're 30% more likely than men to be called "bossy" or "too aggressive." Long story short: 2016's findings feel scarily similar to the shocking workplace norms portrayed in Amazon's Good Girls Revolt, set some 47 years ago.

In an effort to figure out how someone can flourish in these disheartening conditions, we asked powerful, female-identifying bosses from various fields to set the record straight with the only career advice you should really be heeding. Unexpected lessons — and some serious motivation — ahead.