Why Women Are Their Own Worst Enemies!
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Have women perpetuated the Glass Ceiling?

Written By: Brandon Kelly

Date: August 2012

Did you know that you can break glass with amplified sound? The pitch has to be just so, but it can be done. A Sonic Youth record, for that matter any Sonic Youth record could probably get the job done.

If it’s so simple to break glass then why is the glass ceiling still prevalent?

How many of you have ever marched into your boss’s office and requested more money or a promotion? What’s interesting when I ask this question of people is that that the majority who say yes are typically men, not women. Could this in some small way be one of the reasons why women in the year 2012 continue to earn $0.78 cents for every $1.00 a man does?

In sales you are judged by how well you negotiate your compensation prior to taking on a role; the thinking is that if you can’t fight to secure the appropriate payment for yourself, there is little hope that you will you secure a viable payment from your customer on behalf of your employer. Don’t ask, don’t get (which is a chapter in the book “Why Women are Their Own Worst Enemies”).

Research indicates that women generally do not ask for promotions, increased compensation or more vacation time at the same rate that men do; nor do they fight the good fight during the requisite negotiation phase at the beginning of their hire.

If you’ve got the skills they’ll pay. If you are an invaluable asset within the team, or are perceived to be an invaluable asset; wait, they probably don’t even know what you do for them, those things above and beyond your core “job” that you do just because, do they? Whatever the reason the odds are that you don’t sell yourself up and across the organization like your male colleagues do.

Why, if our work is commensurate and/or better than our male counterparts do we not voice a desire to move up in an organization and receive equal pay for equal work? Are we afraid of what they might think of us? Might we be labeled difficult simply for asking?

When we are at a professional standstill why do we not venture out and start our own businesses or transfer our talents to organizations which promote women and support working mothers? The new has encouraged entrepreneurship if only out of desperation for some. However, there is no explanation for why America has so few women represented in Congress.

Well, if it isn’t the glass ceiling it’s the glass cliff you say which asserts that a women’s corporate climb to the top is predicated on just those opportunities with high risk and low reward; not unlike how our current President has had to preside over one of the worst economies in modern history. But hey, an opportunity is an opportunity, nonetheless.

We’ve earned the right to vote, we wage an ongoing battle for reproductive freedom, but why have we not fought harder to break the glass ceiling? If true equality comes down to the numbers than why do we not point to those numbers more often and demand parity? America, in the end, is a capitalistic system where profits are the main objective and if you are driving that bottom line then you deserve the pay and incentives that come with the accomplishment.

If the glass ceiling still exists, and many would argue that it does, there have to be so many cracks in it by now that I am sure it can’t have the same integrity that it once did. Remember, glass can break with sound. So, together, we need to make a cacophony of sound to break it. Sound which comes from appropriate self promotion, striving to deliver grade A work consistently, the sound which comes from making yourself indispensible, the sound from sharing your vision for upward mobility with your organi zation’s leadership. When you are in an environment where you cannot grow and be treated as an equal, then make the sound of your feet walking out the door.