Smashing the glass ceiling starts with you! So, what is holding you back?
When there are ceilings to be smashed, stereotypes to knock down and bridges to build, there is really only one person you can 100% rely on in this world. That person is you! I am not sure how they do it on Mars but successful women on Earth know this is exactly how they need to roll.
Just like Maree found out, striving for success does not mean that you are on your own. Embracing a few fundamentals made her journey to happiness a lot more attainable. Vocalising opinions, getting out and about with other amazing women, and discovering true ways to feel empowered and inspired are ever-important on the road to breaking free. And, if you too want to smash through the invisible ceiling which you feel is holding you back, then read on!
Although men are still the dominant sex in leadership roles around the globe, women are slowly starting to be recognised in the business world.
According to Forbes, some of the top-ranking women in business this year included Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors; Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo; and Rosalind Brewer, COO of Starbucks. These women work within highly-recognisable brands, one of which happens to be a typically male-dominated, motor industry.
There is still a very long way to go before we see women catching up with our male companions. So, in the meantime lets focus on how to change some attitudes first.
It is not about breaking the glass ceiling, it’s about smashing it; and starts with you!
Some of the qualities typically held by successful business women, or women in any ‘power position’, include;
- Balanced and grounded
- Good at networking
- Highly passionate with a desire to succeed
- Ability to take on advice and seek help/answers when needed
So, how can you take on these qualities and break the glass ceiling yourself?
There are many ways we can push through setbacks, climb over walls and build on skills. The above qualities provide some much-needed foundations for overcoming obstacles. Furthermore, following are some action points you can use to manipulate the same set of skills.
#1 Be confidently balanced
Top-ranked women in business are often stereotyped as being too empathetic, or on the other end of the spectrum, overly bombastic or too cold. It can be tough to come across a woman in power who portrays an equal balance of both. It is vital to embrace your own morals and standards whilst finding the right balance of ‘hard and soft’ to be taken seriously. Women with a good handle on this have no problem in giving out expert opinions, getting recognised and making informed, balanced decisions.
#2 Get out and about
Networking with and meeting like-minded women in business can present some great opportunities. Inspiration, creativity, sharing of knowledge, boosting of confidence, motivation, and perhaps some lessons learnt. This can all come about from getting out there and interacting with other women. If the opportunity is presented, put your hand up to get involved with panels, group discussions, forums and opportunities to interact with inspirational and influential women.
#3 Show off your passion
Typically, line of work is a reflection of passion; especially those women who go into business for themselves. Don’t be shy at promoting your business and what you do. Your enthusiasm will attract people to want to learn more about you or your business, lead to opportunities and knock down any road blocks in the way.
Grab any free promotional opportunities when they arise – handing out business cards at networking events, saying “yes” to that interview with the press and jumping on board with business award submissions.
#4 Build a team of mentors
As I mentioned earlier in this article remember that you are not alone. There are other women who have either travelled this road before or are at the same crossroads as you are right now. Getting a team of people to bounce ideas from and seek advice when needed is always a great tool to have under your belt. Peers, business coaching professionals, friends, or ex-colleagues; there will always be someone you can bounce off from time to time.
When you want to smash through the glass ceiling remember that it all starts with you. The people you surround yourself with, your support network and the way you present yourself are all important factors. However, the most crucial of all is your attitude.
Remember to support the network who supports you. After all, if we want to smash the glass ceiling we cannot do it alone.
Our wonderful mentors at Empowering Ambitious Women provide the perfect foundation for empowerment. If you could do with more amazing women in your life, just send us a quick hello here.