Why is so hard to break the 'Glass Ceiling'
There is a popular Harvard Business Review article titled, ‘Women are Over-Mentored but Under-Sponsored’, which fairly outlines the structure of this sensitive topic. Women often think of themselves as courageous, fearless and bold, but what prevents these characteristics from becoming the reality? Why are they envisioned as inferior to men? Women make up half of the world’s population and a considerable number of them have started joining the workforce and enlarging their careers. They are proven to be extremely hardworking and mindful both in their workplaces and their homes and have always reached great heights. Apart from all these perks, what is that tiny barrier that stops them from reaching high? For years, men have overpowered women in various fields. In my case, coming from an Indian background this was not considered as a stereotypical statement but a bitter reality. However, this domination is not only confined to a single geographic location but is spread thought the world.
Female leaders have touched great heights with their profound skills and capabilities. Top managers in workplaces who are growing women leaders show deliberately innovative skills. They are good in customer care and satisfaction, employee engagement as well as increasing their profitability and managing their finances. In a recent survey, women proved to be more strategic and practical in their leadership roles than men. However, there is still a thin line between the success levels of women and men.
Women are often visualized as being emotional with a motherly nature. People believe they always take decisions with their heart and not with their minds and end up nurturing their employees instead of training them.
Women are considered more suitable as a human resource department leader than the boss of a company. These are only a part of the stereotypical thoughts women have to deal with on an everyday basis. Women have for a long time faced difficulties climbing the corporate ladder. In recent times the number of women soaring highly in workplaces has increased. However, the presence of the glass ceiling can still be felt by most of them.
The invisible ‘glass ceiling’ is a metaphor that is used to describe an invisible barrier that prevents women from reaching higher levels in corporations.
Whether it is in terms of senior-level positions or an increase in salaries and other incentives, the outcome is the same. Women are often restricted from climbing up the ladder even though they are truly capable of it. The ‘Glass Ceiling’ creates a crack for gender diversity to become common among the people. In a recent survey, women stated that the biggest obstacle in their workplaces is the mere fact that they are women. In fact, even if they reach heights around 45% of female CEOs are more likely than male CEOs to be dismissed from their own companies.
Job isolation is also a growing concern for working women affecting their mental wellbeing. Women usually accelerate better in teams however safety is another important angle to be looked into: Workplace harassment is a problem in most countries.
Women are intimidated and scared in their own offices. They often do not voice out this harassment in the fear that they might lose their job and hence an undue advantage is always taken. In recent times, however, several legislations to protect women in the workplaces such as the ‘Sexual Harassment Act of 2013’ have been initiated for their protection. The presence of corruption and ignorance just keeps growing and therefore many of these acts have not succeeded in their enforcement.
Balancing work and family can also be a hectic task for women and that’s the major reason women forgo their jobs and decide to take care of the family. If the family is not supportive or they are extremely conservative then the process becomes harder. Financial support, limited connections and lack of flexibility just add up. I think both women and men should have roles mutually beneficial to each other. If the woman is both working and married her husband should also help in the household chores as she contributes to building the family income. This sort of understanding and support is very essential for women to thrive in life.
Positively speaking this generation has seen a rise in women leaders. Women are a full package of talent, flexibility, teamwork progress and compassionate well-being support. They know how to bind their staff together while working towards the goal of their business. Women are not scared of taking risks and facing challenges. They see every day as a new opportunity to grow and expand. Whether it is Cindy Eggleton, CEO of Brilliant Detroit or Jessie Medina, Founder of FEMX Quarters, all of them follow a positive attitude and empowered attitude.
Being a woman, I no longer feel the pressure of competing with men. Instead, I challenge myself to be better each day, to face the competition and to enjoy what I do. At the end of the day, it is not about who wins, it is about who grows from the win.
Bessern Associate (a GenZ voice)
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