There are always some obstacles in life. Some are more obvious than others, like an actual physical obstacle preventing you from getting to work, such as a large congestion in traffic. Some obstacles are invisible and lie in our subconscious, which might require introspection or even professional support.
But, some obstacles were created a long time ago and are still here, unfortunately. Such obstacles prevent individuals, either minorities or in some cases, women, from being able to advance in the corporate world, or business in general. This phenomenon is known as a glass ceiling. It is an invisible wall, preventing people from advancing in the world.
But, how can women, specifically, break through this glass wall? Here are some things to consider.
Be Aware of the Ceiling
The first thing to do when you are faced with a possible obstacle, is to be aware of it. A glass ceiling can be identified by observing how individuals operate within a company. Notice whether there are any high ranking women or minorities in the company, but also pay attention to their traits and skills. Some people advance through means other than skill and dedication.
If there is such an obstacle in the company you are working for, changing jobs is probably the best course of action. However, this takes awareness, perceptiveness and sincerity, as well as a bit of bravery. Taking action to make sure that you advance in life is mandatory, nobody else will do it for us.
Feedback and Skill
Sometimes, a glass ceiling is a great excuse for someone’s lack of desire to invest more time and effort into bettering themselves. What if the individual is lacking in skill or traits to advance to a position with more responsibility? In that case, the first thing to do is to ask for feedback from colleagues and even superiors. It is a great way to judge whether you are lacking in skill or something else.
Taking the time to evaluate yourself is a great first step to becoming better and advancing, in the workplace or in everyday life.
Taking More Responsibility
Since advancing means knowing more and doing more, the best place to start is the deep end of the pool. Taking more responsibility is a great way of learning how to deal with more pressure and with what a potential promotion would require from you. The more you learn and actually do at your job, the more serious someone will take you, unless it is one of those companies that actually want to enforce the status quo.
Most employers value effort and the willingness to do more, so taking more responsibility whenever you get the chance, is a great way to learn more and even get a promotion.
Glass ceilings are infuriating, invisible obstacles that prevent individuals, minorities or women, from advancing in their careers. There are ways to combat this, some of them being outlined here. Consider this if you want to get a promotion, or know someone who might have run into this issue.