Do you smash through it with the biggest rock you can find or wait patiently for someone to do something about it?
As a recent journalism graduate trying to find my place in the workforce, admittedly the idea of facing the metaphorical glass ceiling seems a long way off. Breaking through the glass floor is more of a relevant metaphor.
The cut-throat PR industry employs a large percentage of women. If women can be employed at an executive level in such a lucrative industry, surely the qualities required of an executive in a male-orientated sector are quite similar. To me, a CEO is a CEO, male or female. At both of my jobs, here at Red PR and UQ Sport, the Executive Directors are women and quite an inspiration to a young woman looking to start her career.
Although my current experience in the workforce disproves the glass ceiling theory, there is ample evidence to the contrary. In 2008, 91.7 per cent of ASX Board Directors were men. What more proof do you need?
Sharon Williams, CEO of Taurus Marketing (featured in Dynamic Business Magazine’s December/January issue) made the statement that it is up to the individual to smash through the ceiling when it comes looming.
This may be easier said than done when the majority of business leaders are men. The mindset of those making future executive appointments needs to be amended before there is a noticeable rise in the amount of corporate senior positions held by women.
The age-old stereotype, that women are controlled by their emotions, a negative quality associated with leadership, is still ripe in a lot of work places. Until this stereotype is broken, companies will miss out on a very valuable talent pool.
In five years time after I’ve broken through the glass floor and find myself a significant way up the corporate ladder, if I bump my head on a solid surface I’ll be sure to get out my hammer and start chipping away at the glass.
Red PR Intern