Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Women Leadership… A Glass Ceiling?

March is considered Women’s (History) Month. The focus of this month is to increase the awareness and knowledge of women’s history. For years there have been books, articles, and talks about women experiencing a glass ceiling when advancing in their careers. I ask why there are discussions about a ceiling existing. This is not to say that women have advanced equally and by the rate that we should have at this point. I suggest we stop the talk about a glass ceiling. Why are we putting a ceiling there that needs to be broken or raised? More focus needs to be placed toward building support, opportunities where you can, developing the next generation, and reaching back and mentoring another female regardless of the level you have achieved.

Women have not reached their highest potential and there is more that can be done. Women have learned to nurture, encourage, multitask, and function in various roles. Instead of focusing on where they are in reference to the glass ceiling, women should put their efforts toward making a greater impact for other women business. Here are a few suggestions:
  1. Ensure you have a hand down while you are using the other to climb up. While reading the achievement of women leaders, I notice there were very few that were grooming their replacement or another level of female leaders that were right beneath their current position. If you are building and developing at various levels, we can minimize the achievement gaps.
  2. Be honest about your struggles. Many times women do not share the various trials and challenges they face on their journey. Some do not because of fear of embarrassment about what they had to endure. Others are embarrassed because they are ashamed of how low their values dipped for achievement. It is important to provide a realistic picture to your female protégés. Be transparent and share your REAL story. If you did things you rather not have, state that. It will come forward anyway. It is better for someone to learn from your mistake. Besides you are painting a picture…..why not make it a Picasso.

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