With women’s rights taking center stage in 2017 and beyond, pay inequality is a hot-button issue deserving of our much-needed attention. Something needs to be done.

In her new book, Boss Bitch: A Simple 12-Step Plan to Take Charge of Your Career, author and money expert Nicole Lapin reveals one of the most overlooked reasons for the gender pay gap, and how women can work together to close it.

You see, research has found that only 7% of women negotiate their starting salary, compared to 57% of men.

And get this. One of the BIG reasons why women have trouble with salary negotiations is the fact that they have no idea how much other people working in similar positions earn. Not a clue.

Why? Because women would rather reveal how much they weigh before disclosing their salary. I’m serious. This was actually the real finding of a Nielsen study.

Imagine walking into a salary negotiation without knowing what to ask for. How much more prepared and confident would you feel if you could openly talk with friends and colleagues about their pay?

For example, if you got a job anchoring for CNBC back in 2010, how cool would it be to stop by Nicole’s desk a few days before your salary negotiation and say …

You: “Hey Nicole, I’ve got my negotiation coming up next week. Would you mind telling me how much they pay you?”

Her: “Not at all! I wish more people would ask me that question. I started at $150K and have moved up to $175K since. If you need any negotiation tips, please don’t hesitate to ask. Happy to help a sister out.”

You: “Thank you so much. If you have another few minutes to talk, mind sharing your benefits package? I’ve been stumped on how many vacation days to ask for.”

Her: “Pull up a chair and grab a pen. I’ll break it all down to you.”

Boom. That quick convo could add another $20K or more to your salary. Plus, an extra paid week in Fiji. Easy peasy.

By the way, that’s really how much Nicole earned at CNBC. These days, she makes $375K at her CW show Hatched. 

How do I know this? Because she listed it all out on page 114 of her book.

Yes, pay inequality is a multifactorial issue. But being more transparent about how much money we make is something we can all do to even the paying field. (See what I did there?)

On this week’s episode of The SC Sessions, Nicole and I discuss this topic and more, including:

* The most important thing to do when asking for a raise

* How to build your own brand within the company you work for

* The very best way to get the help you need to build your business

* How to build an incredible network … without wasting time and burning yourself out

Stay tuned for our brand-new “One-Take Takeaways” episode this Friday. I’ll cover my favorite 3-4 takeaways from my chat with Nicole.