1. Taking a backseat, literally and figuratively.
Years ago at an important political strategy meeting, I found that a place hadn't been set for me at the table. I moved toward the line of chairs ringing the room until I thought: "Hey! No man would do that!" So I pushed aside a place card and sat down. If you want a seat at the power table, take one.
2. Accepting lower salaries.
One study I read says women feel the need to "earn" a higher salary, whereas men believe they "deserve" a higher salary. You need to know your worth—and demand it, respectfully.
3. Doing too much for free.
If you don't value your time, no one else will.
4. Treating other women like adversaries.
Some women are driven by the notion that the men have the power and they'll make room for only one woman. In many instances, that's true. So if there is only one woman at the table, Lord, let that one be me. But here's what would be even better: Instead of fighting for the single seat in the room, we should all be asking, "Why aren't there more chairs?" To change the prevailing power structures, we need to fight for each other.
More career advice:
From the September 2010 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!