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June 2012
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How to Create More than Just a Crack in the Glass Ceiling – Management Today

Posted by: Alex Linley, as part of Capp’s Female Leaders Month (June 2012)

 

Fresh from celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, we continue also to celebrate Female Leaders Month at Capp.

 

Do you find yourself continuously apologising, playing mum or not asking for that promotion? These are three common mistakes women make in the workplace, says Nicky Garcea in Management Today

 

“The glass ceiling has a hairline crack, but it is not yet broken. Women remain underrepresented at senior levels and latest research shows us that just 14% of FTSE 100 directorships and 22 percent of senior management positions were held by women. This, despite the fact that in the last year alone, female enterprise contributed over £130bn to our economy.


There are many reasons why female leaders are less represented in businesses, but research points chiefly at organisational bias and actually, perhaps surprisingly, women holding themselves back.


You don’t have to be superwomen to make it to the top, so what are the key challenges facing women?…”

 

Read the rest of Nicky’s article in Management Today.

 

Let us know your thoughts on the barriers that might stop women from reaching the top, and what we can do to overcome them, by sharing your Comment on The Capp Blog below.

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One Response to How to Create More than Just a Crack in the Glass Ceiling – Management Today

  • Andy Rhodes says:

    I’m reflecting on the article and the whole issue of underrepresentation of women in senior positions from the perspective of a male leader who has done ok in the status quo but also from the mentoring / coaching I get involved in with both male and female aspiring leaders. Maybe you could also apply all of the 4 issues Nicky raises to men ?, I’ve certainly observed this in both men and women so why is it more prevalent in women than men could be the question. For me there are 2 key issues to focus on if we are to enable women (and other underrepresented groups) to achieve their true potential. Firstly is the provision of coaching and mentoring that is sophisticated enough to delve a little deeper into the unique personal challenges facing the individual that may originate outside of the organisational context. We all have these don’t we ? But if they are the source of why we aren’t achieving our potential it may be the individual wants to explore them with the right support – the outcome = authenticity. I hear coaches reciting anonymised conversations that seem to me to suggest they get to a certain depth with a client and feel ill equipped to go any further because the issues are to do with deep rooted self esteem , acceptance and negative belief systems. They have painted themselves into a corner with no way out but to return to the surface leaving the root cause unresolved. It’s not all about work it’s about 100% well being ! If my partner treats me like dirt, I don’t have a voice at home and I’ve selected that partner because my parents treated me that way are we seriously saying this has no bearing on how I think,feel, behave at work ? Coaching clients through a series of goals is like putting a sticking plaster on an open wound, it’ll stop it looking nasty but underneath it will still be a problem.
    Secondly, and more uncomfortable for people like myself, is the reality that in many organisations there is still bias
    against some underrepresented groups. By this I don’t always mean overt, deliberate discrimination but a more subtle type of bias that once again quite often comes down to key individuals and their attitude towards gender, race etc. People have been chipped to leave their discrimination at home but akin to the individual who we know has a life outside work, are we seriously suggesting that these issues never find their way into the workplace? So, back to Nicky’s article – if women present themselves as a)more confident b)engage in more self-promotion c) set up a career strategy and d) target more influential mentors WITHOUT authenticity and an appreciation of their unique strengths they may risk burn out or even start to mirror the dysfunctional leadership that has held them back in the first place.

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