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Women on Top: How to Break Through the Glass Ceiling

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Guest Contributor

Despite the great strides for equality women have made over centuries of struggle, an imbalance still exists in the workplace. The "glass ceiling" refers to these barriers that can be seen but are difficult to overcome. Traditionally this term was geared toward women and minorities, but it can apply to anyone who feels they have reached limitations in their careers. While it is true that salary differences and other gender bias exist in some form, women continue to act on perceived notions as well. Here are some ways to break through the glass ceiling and find success over gender barriers.

When trying to break through obstacles in the workplace, try to conclude whether or not your own behavior is holding you back. Women tend to make decisions based on emotion, where men are more objective. Being compassionate is not a bad thing, but do not let it delegate your activity in the office. Try to strike a balance between soft and hard, allowing yourself to be a team player, yet rise to competition as the situation calls for it. Find your authority by speaking up when you have a good idea, and state it clearly and concisely when you do.

There is no better way to boost your confidence than by recognizing your strengths. Assess your purpose and value within your current role. Then set goals for your future and find realistic means of achieving them. Simply having these objectives makes you that much more likely of accomplishing them. Understand that you are going to have to sell yourself on these key skills to achieve the next position you want. Get involved in high-profile projects, and don't be afraid to point out your successes during meetings. If you feel you deserve a promotion, why not ask for it instead of waiting for it to be handed to you? No matter how hard you work, your efforts will go unnoticed unless you demand the attention.

Build your network. It is easy to get comfortable within your own team, but try to branch out and make new friends outside of this social bubble. The more people who are exposed to your talent and personable demeanor, the greater your chances are of working your way up in the company. These new associates might be able to introduce you to other powerful people or recommend you for open job positions. Attend social events outside of work like happy hours and birthday parties. This will open new opportunities to be seen and heard.

Despite all your best efforts to climb the corporate ladder, it is still possible to experience setbacks. Instead of accepting failure, use a negative experience as an opportunity to understand how your company works. Do not view every roadblock as a result of sexism; rather work on a plan to deal with these issues more effectively in the future. However, you should know your rights if an employer's actions have crossed the line into discrimination.

Why not just set out on your own and be your own boss? Apply for online business loans and use your talent to build your own company and embrace your entrepreneurial spirit.

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