BREAK THE GLASSCEILING

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

THE GLASS CEIL­ING IS A FIG­MENT OF OUR IMAG­I­NA­TION, HOW­EVER IT BE­COMES REAL WHEN WE START TO BE­LIEVE IT.

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,

WE ARE WHAT WE THINK WE ARE!

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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