“women must consciously build the edge and gravitas to lead”
The term glass ceiling in recent times in 21st century leadership refers to the unseen barriers that prevent people from progressing at the workplace. The worst part is when the invisible barriers prevent ambitious people from getting certain jobs and roles at offices despite being well qualified and deserving. The term ‘glass ceiling’ is reserved for minorities and not necessarily, women per se. Glass ceiling is a phenomenon that affects career curve, fundamental social status and possible lifetime earning potential.
Women must take steps to know the things they need to arm themselves with to fight this elusive form of heightened discrimination. I have done some work in 2016 just to appreciate Women in Leadership and the glass ceiling at the workplace, and I confidently concluded that shifting any paradigm starts with the mind. Ahenkorah (2018) hinted that the mind is a powerful tool. This whole wave of glass ceiling took off the ground in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s when many women ambitiously entered the workplace and sadly, large numbers found themselves unable to advance within the corporate strata to the top.
At that time, evolving movements believed that there was a Big Brother somewhere somehow preventing women from progressing at the workplace. In the 1980’s the word glass ceiling was replaced with a not too pleasant word, ‘mommy track’. Within that same period, women within the childbearing age were considered less motivated and uncommitted to work. Sad, but obvious at that time. There was a momentous perception that women take extensive time off and subsequently leave work once they had children.
In fact, a woman cannot love her work more than the love she has for her child. This statement will surely be discussed later. A woman at work with a child admitted at the hospital is actually at the hospital with the work out of her mind. As she prioritizes her maternal duties she’s compelled and interestingly influenced to shelve her career development path. This is just an example. The mommy track is basically an interrupted if not a delayed career journey followed by women as a result of family commitments along the way.
Obviously, not so fascinating and of course not to belabor the argument, the world has seen the need to prepare girls into confident women ready to shatter the glass ceiling if not smashing it entirely. It is not as though women do not know their potential. Of course, to better the point and be much more pointy, not punchy, women must consciously build the edge and gravitas to lead. Let me drop the bomb. When leaders focus on the bigger picture, they draw the vision closer. Women must focus on the bigger picture to smash the ceiling. Women must be strategic although it is beautiful to be operational.
They must take that bold steps to break that imaginary glass ceiling. When you are on a journey, your destination will be ahead of you. Most women give up too early on the journey and some get complacent along the way. Women must not throw their hands in the air when they find themselves in the woods. Build character. When Rev. Jesse Jackson hinted that Leadership couldn’t just go along to get along, he meant that leaders must develop the character, values and ethics required to climb to the top.
This is Leadership!
Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah
Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top