Women in Management

by Rita Bailey

Common questions

  1. What is the glass ceiling?
  2. Why do I need a plan?
  3. Why do I need to network?
  4. Why raise my profile?
  5. How can feedback help?
  6. I don’t want to get involved in office politics – isn’t that just for senior people?

 

1. What is the glass ceiling?

When examined closely, the real-life glass ceiling is made up of organisational culture and social attitudes which are a source of discrimination. However subtly, the glass ceiling metaphor refers to genuine issues concerning access to certain positions, networks, opportunities, status and resources. The glass ceiling can also exist at different levels within an organisation, whether at the top or at lower levels of progression within the structure.

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2. Why do I need a plan?

Planning is a major tool in the set you will need for that breakthrough. Your plan will define exactly where you want your career to be within a certain period of time (usually five years) and how you intend getting there. Your plan is important for getting to the next level, just as having a business plan for a new business is vital to its success.

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3. Why do I need to network?

Women in management have a wealth of arenas for networking: within their organisations, within the industry as a whole, in professional associations, at networking events of personal interest or at all-women career forums. You should use networking to advance your career, find more senior roles and network with other senior professionals. You can use networking to develop yourself professionally and personally, while accessing invaluable support in the shape of potential mentors or like-minded individuals who can provide insightful information about where you are planning to move to next.

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4. Why raise my profile?

To get that top job, you will be using a reputation that you have built over the months and years. Our reputations are our constant companions and can precede us. A lot of emphasis has been placed on creating and managing your brand – in other words, your reputation, your profile and everything that is associated with you. The key factor to remember is that it is your accomplishments, your results and how you interact with people that create their impressions of you.

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5. How can feedback help?

Constructive feedback will help you to develop your on-going confidence, increase self-awareness and improve your professional and personal performance, all in preparation for your next step.

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6. I don’t want to get involved in office politics – isn’t that just for senior people?

People develop political understanding through their expertise and the results they achieve. Take a few moments to consider what you did to understand the politics of where you are now. If you haven’t got to grips with the politics around your current role, let alone those that apply on the next level, you will find it challenging to operate and work successfully, both in your current role and the future role you are aiming for.

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