3 tips to help career women break through the Glass Ceiling
Updated: May 25
Women are still not getting a fair deal in the workplace, despite all the advancements that have been made to our work environment and employment rights, the gap between men and women’s success at work remains stubbornly evident. The figures make for grim reading:
Women are less likely to hold a management role, compared to their male counterparts
Only 1 in 5 C-suite positions are held by women
On average (according to UK figures) women earn 10% less than their male counterparts and this gap grows for over 50s.
It has nothing to do with raw talent, experience, skills or qualifications, but it does have something to do with the rules of the game that are dictating how things play out in women’s careers.
So many talented, amazing, professional women find that their careers are stalled way too early. They see their opportunities plateau, whilst other colleagues seem to progress effortlessly to higher levels. Too many professional women feel undervalued and overlooked and this affects every area of their life and relationships.
From my experience over the last 20 years of working with 100s of professional women across dozens of industries, I have seen how women can struggle in three key areas in their professional life:
Being intentional about your career
Career success is where opportunity and intention meet. Yet for many women, especially if they have taken a career break to have a family, they feel like they have to return to work with a sense of gratitude for whatever job they can get. The trouble with taking an unintentional path in terms of your career, is a bit like how the Cheshire Cat responded to Alice in Wonderland when she said she didn’t know which way to go she just wanted to get somewhere; ‘Well it doesn’t matter which way you go, you’ll end up somewhere.”
Success comes from clear thinking, having attainable goals and putting your efforts into reaching them. Having a career compass, clear motivation and breaking through your self-limiting beliefs will help you to start to define and build the career you love.
Crafting your brand and building your profile
Women tend to be poorer at self-promotion than men. It is not that they don’t have the skills or abilities, but often they may not have as much belief in themselves or feel that speaking up will make them pushy.
Turn this around and take a different perspective. How can senior decision makers in your current or future company know about you, your skills, and talents if you do not tell them? If you don’t let your uniqueness shine or present your ideas in a confident and concise way, your voice will not be heard and into that void, other voices will come. It is possible to be authentic and be an expert networker, both in your organisation and across a range of professional networks. Raising your visibility starts with your belief in yourself and following that through with action. Is it time for your voice to be heard?
It takes courage to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. You want to be able to do that on your own terms, without it feeling fake or manufactured.
Successful women are confident about the image they portray, negotiating their worth in the workplace and being resilient when the pressure is on. This is because they will have a mindset which reflects their sense of their worth. They will be thoughtful about their professional image and they will have practices that balance and renew their energy.
It’s not that there is a secret code that makes men more appealing in the workforce than women, but there is a set of attitudes and behaviours that make success more likely. As a woman, you can easily learn those skills and take the steps to step up to the career you deserve without compromising who you are.
If you would like to review your career options, book a career accelerator consultation with me. You’ll find out the three things that might be holding you back from the career you love and the one thing you can do to turn it around.