Research continues to support the existence of a glass ceiling in the workplace and it’s no secret that there is a significant gender gap in the C-Suite at Fortune 500 companies. A number of theories have been explored to suggest reasons for the underrepresentation of women in the workplace and efforts by various groups are working to change this disparity.
Furthermore research and shared experience show that the system is flawed and studies have indicated that change has to happen at the governmental, societal and organizational levels. There is no doubt that efforts must continue to eradicate bias and fear and to embrace the diversity the world is blessed with. This is a great opportunity to learn from others and to realize that every person has something to contribute to making the world a better place in which to live.
The only way for change to happen is to make others aware that change is needed. It’s easy to become comfortable with the way things are and so that is why I make a point to share research and experiences to challenge the status quo. One cannot become comfortable when others are not being treated fairly. That is also why I commend others on their efforts to make others aware, give advice based on their experiences and motivate and encourage women. These men and women are affecting change in the way they know best. Kudos to them because it takes courage to speak up against the status quo; which leads me to the reason for this post.
I’ve learned that change begins within each individual. As we push toward increasing the number of women in senior leadership, we have to be careful that as individuals, we don’t develop a victim mindset. We must make sure that we take a personal approach to looking within ourselves to assess areas that may need improvement.
We also must be careful to not be offended by everything. Sometimes your obstacles to career advancement are not due to bias or external issues. It may be due to a lack of preparation, skill and/or experience. You may be the one holding yourself back. You may not see yourself as worthy or you may perceive that you’re not qualified. You may have developed bad habits that deter you from reaching your career goals.
Become the pilot of your career by taking inventory of areas that need improvement. Be fair to yourself: Research the requirements for the career you aspire. Understand that qualification is not always based on education. What are the hidden abilities, duties, and mindset of someone in that career? Interview others whom have the job you desire.
To Our Leaders
As a society, we have taken on the extremely dangerous habit or passing the buck. From our elected officials to our business and educational leaders, there is always an excuse for bad behavior. When a person blames others for his/her actions, there is no way that person is being a leader. And that person imprisons their opportunity to make a difference. When you make a decision or take a specific action, others are affected and there are real consequences. True leaders understand that it’s not about the power, fame and perks; it’s about the responsibility of empowering others to bring about the change necessary to achieve the anticipated vision.
Everything is not You vs. Them (whoever they are to you). Be Accountable.
A Tribute to Some of Our Greatest Leaders
As you begin this wonderful memorial day weekend, let us remember those leaders who gave the ultimate sacrifice to maintain the vision of our country. We salute you!
Take time this weekend to reflect on the following:
1. Who is the pilot of your career?
2. What areas in your career have you not been accountable? How can you improve?
3. What issues have you allowed to hold you back in your career?
4. What do you think will happen if you became more accountable to why you have not advanced in your career?