First appeared on Technorati:http://technorati.com/women/article/is-glass-ceiling-for-women-a3/
Looking at the obstacles women face; it becomes evident that the problems are from both sides: women and organizations and since it takes two to tango- solutions have to originate from both sides:
A. Change organizations cultures
B. Women to learn how to brand themselves properly, project their leadership skills knowing how they are perceived
Easier said than done but here are some ideas to tackle the issues:
A- Organizations: Change the culture of the organization
1- Offer flexibility at the workplace for parents; and elderly care-takers especially women
2- Offer leadership training that is not bias towards male leaders
3- Have proper succession plans, including the proper assessments for female leaders, career development and training
4- Offer proper coaching, mentoring and sponsoring for promising female leaders
5- Research the acceptable work practices that can help women advance to senior positions instead of hindering them
6- Monitor the selection process of people for high visibility projects that can enhance a career
7- Offer incentive education re-imbursement for masters and doctorates programs for women
8- Have zero tolerance for stereotyping and discrimination against women – strong HR policies and departments are a great asset.
9- Have proper progressive performance evaluations and constructive feedback
B- Women Leaders:
1- Project their brands, and skills properly and assertively with confidence
2- Empower each other by forming and joining ERG and affinity groups to make their voices heard and to name the barriers and bias they might experience
3- Engage with the organizations in effective initiatives to change the organizations cultural barriers
4- Get rid of the “Glass Ceiling” excuse or as a fate defining issue, or fall under the self fulfilling prophecy to justify why they are not advancing. Acting as a victim is debilitating, we become what we work for.
5- Strategize a plan for your career: Plan properly for your S.M.A.R.T. goals, know what is needed to advance, get the required qualifications as education or certification or mentoring,
6- Stand for themselves and speak-up; prevent others from assuming or trying to perceive their styles, competencies and abilities
7- Ask for feedback from managers or superiors, colleagues that they trust; take their comments into consideration as we are what we do – our actions, verbal and non verbal communications and behaviors affect how we are perceived. Never get defensive
8- Study and research what is needed as knowledge, skills and abilities needed to advance. It is fine to ask for help, seek coaching in areas identified as vulnerable
9- Knowing that it will not be easy, or comfortable, they will need to adapt to many changes along the way, get out of their comfort ones but who said life was easy? Look at career as being a adventure along the life journey.
Then, and may be then a path can be created to propel women through the glass ceiling to executive positions.
Diversity starts at home
Picture credit for http://www.nurseweek.com
Diversity Consultant – Social Media Strategist
Sahar Consulting, LLC.