Breaking through the Glass Ceiling


In a recent women’s forum I attended, several women mentioned how they encountered the glass ceiling and how they didn’t realize it until it was too late.  This glass ceiling commonly reflects a metaphor representing an invisible barrier that keeps women from rising beyond a certain level or hierarchy.  Perhaps, some of you may have experienced this while advancing in your careers and/or education pursuits.

In its description, the glass ceiling, is referred as something so transparent yet constraintive in passing through, particularly for women. As a result from this forum and other sources, I have highlighted several general strategies for women to combat this effect throughout their careers.

*Gain and maintain a supportive network

It is imperative for women to gain support from peers and other women who have perhaps tapped on the glass ceiling.  If you are able to become a part of managerial network, that would also be recommend.  Both women and men can be great allies and a part of your support network.

*Support and/or initiate workplace zero tolerance policies

Ensure awareness of bias or discrimination occurrences in the workplace and support zero tolerance for your companies whether it includes trainings and/or disciplinary actions.  In this regard, you can also be apart of recruitment policies as well as fair/equal salary negotiations whether on your own behalf or your peers.

*Do not be afraid to start your own companies

You can effectively promote fair environments and diversity driven initiatives by creating your own business and companies.  Also, women owned business could be another option when considering employers to work for and with for innovative collaborations.

Fellow GradSWEsters know change may be happening whether it may feel at a glacial pace, but it is happening. Be fierce in reaching your career goals and know you too can bring about real change in the workplace.  Efforts further advocating this shattering ceilings and other boundaries spirit can be continued with your attendance at we18.   This year’s conference in Minneapolis, MN USA carries the theme of Let’s Break Boundaries and you can be sure more topics similar to breaking the glass ceiling will be highlighted for women engineers breaking boundaries in their careers and beyond.




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