Be­lieve in your­self & your own abil­ity

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Kelly Fryer

Glass Ceil­ing: - noun: an un­ac­knowl­edged bar­rier to ad­vance­ment in a pro­fes­sion, es­pe­cially af­fect­ing women and mem­bers of mi­nori­ties.

The first time I was asked to de­liver an ad­dress at a women’s net­work, it was on the topic of Glass Ceil­ings and the is­sues I had faced through­out my ca­reer in com­pet­ing with men. I ex­plained that I had never en­coun­tered this is­sue but I could give my opin­ion on the dif­fer­ences be­tween men and women when seek­ing a new role or a pro­mo­tion from an HR per­spec­tive. Typ­i­cally, women will wait un­til they can do 100% of the role out­lined in the job de­scrip­tion, whereas men will typ­i­cally ap­ply if they can do 60% of the role. Men talk in interviews about ‘I’ and women fo­cus on ‘we’.

Re­search has demon­strated that of­ten through­out school fe­males out­per­form males, we work hard and re­ceive recog­ni­tion through the grades we re­ceive. When we en­ter the world of work, we as­sume that our ef­forts will con­tinue to be re­warded in the same way. For some this is the case but for many, our ef­forts may go un­no­ticed be­cause we aren’t pro­mot­ing our suc­cesses and show­cas­ing our tal­ents in or­der to get the recog­ni­tion we de­serve. From the def­i­ni­tion above, we see the Glass Ceil­ing as an in­vis­i­ble bar­rier. I al­ways be­lieved I could achieve what­ever I wanted to and so far I haven’t been proven wrong. How­ever, there are still some or­ga­ni­za­tions in the workplace where glass ceil­ings are a real­ity. You need to be in the ‘club’ in or­der to get pro­moted or rec­og­nized, but this is chang­ing.

An­other con­cept is the ‘Glass Cliff’ and this refers to women who have made it to the top, but due to lack of time, sup­port or re­sources are quickly pushed off, whereas males at the top ap­pear to be given more time, with more money and ad­di­tional re­sources to ‘fix the is­sue’. At this point, we see women jump­ing be­fore they are pushed.

I have been lucky to have so many inspirational fe­male role mod­els in my life, at home, at school, in ed­u­ca­tion and


at work. I at­tend events with inspirational fe­male speak­ers who have made it to the top and are suc­ceed­ing in their roles. My net­work is filled with inspirational suc­cess­ful women. The great coaches and men­tors who I have worked with have been inspirational suc­cess­ful women. No ceil­ings, just striv­ing for and reach­ing suc­cess, al­though we all have dif­fer­ent views on what suc­cess looks like. In 2013 I was at a two-day de­vel­op­ment work­shop where at the end of the first day there was a panel dis­cus­sion. One panel mem­ber told an out­stand­ing story. She worked in Lon­don and had just been made Part­ner in a large con­sul­tancy firm as the first woman to do so. She had worked hard, bro­ken the ceil­ing and achieved what she wanted to achieve. She did speak about the ‘boys club’. In some of the nights out,


she felt like an out­cast be­cause she wasn’t en­gag­ing in brandy and cigars al­though she had been recog­nised for her skills, tal­ent and hard work.

In 2014 I at­tended an event with 300 women at the Lon­don Busi­ness School where there were a host of fan­tas­tic fe­male speak­ers, all of whom were ei­ther CEO’s or mem­bers of Boards in In­ter­na­tional and Global Com­pa­nies. The com­mon theme they all spoke about was work­ing hard to en­cour­age more women into se­nior po­si­tions as they acted as role mod­els to show it could be done.

Two speak­ers dis­played their frus­tra­tion at ques­tions from the au­di­ence about jug­gling moth­er­hood with a ca­reer. They both re­sponded by ask­ing if ques­tions of fa­ther­hood and a ca­reer would have been posed to male speak­ers.

Through­out my ca­reer I have strived to re­move bar­ri­ers and boxes from the workplace. Our own be­liefs can hin­der us as can psy­cho­me­t­ric test­ing that ex­cuses our be­hav­iour or lim­its our growth just be­cause we are fe­male.

I hold a strong be­lief that we each hold the an­swers and re­sources within us to achieve what we want to achieve. If we want to aim high, we should stop cre­at­ing bar­ri­ers, stop con­fin­ing our­selves with la­bels and stereo­types and just be our­selves.

Top Tips for break­ing The glass ceil­ing:

• act like there are no bar­ri­ers, boxes, la­bels or lim­its

• be­lieve in your­self and your own abil­ity

• find an amaz­ing coach or men­tor to get you to the next level

Kelly Fryer, Founder at Chrysalis Con­sult­ing, BSc in Psy­chol­ogy and is cur­rently un­der­tak­ing a PhD in Or­gan­i­sa­tional Change and the Courage of Lead­ers. Kelly is a qual­i­fied and ac­cred­ited Ex­ec­u­tive Coach and lives in the UK. Kelly can be con­tacted at Chrysalis con­sult­ing.

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