Looking to Break the Glass Ceiling? 8 Strategies for Successful Women

Do women really need to break the glass ceiling? Looking at the accomplishments of stalwarts like Mary Barra, Virginia Rometty, Indra Nooyi, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Theresa May, and presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, it is evident that women are not just capable of ruling the top echelons of the business world. But, they are perfectly capable of running whole nations.

And, research has proved this for a fact. According to the results of a study published in the Harvard Business Review, the most successful venture capital investments are the ones that have at least one woman founder. In fact, such startups of the Silicon Valley performed up to 65% better than organizations with all men on their boards. Go figure.

And, there’s more! At least 50% of students entering college in the West are women. Once they leave college, they’re going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. They’ll have similar qualifications, and they’ll be looking for the same career advancement opportunities and high salaries. Women will have fabulous, highly innovative ideas, and they’ll be ready to break the glass ceiling.

Are Women Likely to Have These Opportunities? In Today’s World? Maybe Not!

As Sarah Thebaud at the Princeton University found, women today still face bias because of their gender. They need to work a lot harder than their male peers, display higher performance levels, and come up with outstanding entrepreneurial concepts to be taken seriously. Raising funding for their ideas is a lot more difficult. It’s a fact that men with less innovative ideas find it much easier to get investments.

And, that’s not all. Women continue to be judged according to their appearance. A beautiful woman needs to play down her looks while an everyday woman might need to work on her looks to gain enough attention. Every woman executive needs to maintain a strong, reliable persona that is trustworthy, smart, dependable, and who knows her stuff. At the same time, she cannot seem too enthusiastic, or her male peers might feel threatened by her strength and resourcefulness. And, they’ll make it more difficult for her to break the glass ceiling.

Steven Applebaum from Concordia University reveals that the results of his research showed that only around 3% of the top executives of Fortune 500 companies are women. He says, “Women are still perceived as inferior leaders. This ill-conceived notion needs to change—and fast. At the current rate, we won’t see gender equality in the boardroom until 2081.”

So, How Can Women Break the Glass Ceiling?

Women need to maintain their composure and keep their heads down working with the team until the time comes when the team can no longer function without their exceptional ideas. That’s when the men have no choice but to invite them to step in and take charge.

Here are some other practical tips you might find useful when you’re looking to break the glass ceiling.

  1. Look for a company that welcomes innovation and is progressive in its work ethos. Functioning in such a work environment is essential for your personal growth as well. You’ll feel inspired and excel because your accomplishments will be recognized and lauded.
  2. Study the history of the company where you work. What are the key talents and skills that attract the most attention? Who were the people who got promotions? What did they achieve for the company to qualify? You’ll get a fair view of the areas where you need to perform better.
  3. Set goals for yourself and work out how you’re going to attain them. Take performance reviews seriously. Ask questions about what you need to do to develop your skills and capabilities. Look for a mentor within your company who can train and guide you on your performance in the organization.
  4. Consider getting continuing education credits to further your skills. Each new qualification will serve as another tool to help you break the glass ceiling.
  5. Build an extensive network of contacts, within and outside of your company. You’ll also need all the help you can from your peers. Make friends and make a conscious effort to keep in touch with them. You never know when you may need help with a project or to advance the interests of your company. That’s a sure shot strategy to get noticed and rise to the top.
  6. Build a stellar record. Take on all the challenging projects you can. Focus on the advancement of the company. Don’t hesitate to express your ideas and be assertive in the boardroom.
  7. No strategy works better than hard work and dedication. Keep adding accomplishments to your resume. You’ll learn and gain experience working at bigger and more advanced projects. Soon you’ll have an impressive list of completed projects that can help you break the glass ceiling.
  8. Take care of your health. In your race to get ahead in your career, don’t ignore your body. As long as you feel well, you can continue to achieve everything you want to. As you cross the age of 35, if you feel like your body is starting to slow down, get yourself tested and treat hormone imbalances. This is one issue that can get in the way of your performance levels by causing all kinds of health problems including fatigue, lack of concentration, poor memory, mental confusion, and others.

Can women break the glass ceiling? Absolutely! All it takes is resilience and hard work. And, the right moves. Soon you’ll be able to prove that you’re more than capable of running the company and making a roaring success of it.

Do You Really Need to Manage Your Reputation

Have you ever wondered whether your business needs to be in touch with a reputation management firm? If you have wondered that, then it is likely that you need to get in touch with such a firm as soon as possible. Online reputation management was once something that only huge businesses had to get involved in, but it is now something for everybody. Without strategies in place, you simply cannot protect yourself from the inevitable complaints and bad reviews.

Reputation management has to be seen as part of your marketing and advertising campaign. You need to set aside a budget and create a detailed strategy, as well as an action plan and operating procedure, so that everybody in your organization knows how to behave online when they represent your company. Additionally, the strategy is about being proactive, so that you focus on building a positive reputation long before any negative comments start to appear.

So how do you know whether this is something you can do yourself, or whether you need professional help? The following questions may help you answer that.

  1. What Are Your Rankings?

If you don’t know what rankings are, you definitely need professional help. Essentially, if you do not rank on the first page of Google, you have a problem. You cannot expect your customers to go to the second or third page, because they simply won’t.

  1. Do You Have Negative Reviews Against You?

If any negative reviews have been posted about you, you also need help. Even a single complaint can drive customers away. It is for this reason that reputation management is such a hot topic right now. You need to understand what is out there, and how people are finding it – even if that is because of an autocorrect word, by the way.

  1. Do You Have a Reputation Management Strategy?

If you don’t, you need one straight away. Without a strategy, you will set yourself up for failure. You need to have a plan in place, or you will basically be shooting in the dark, simply hoping that things will turn out ok in the end. If you work with a professional company, however, you can rest assured that you can focus on managing your business, while they make sure you look good.

The internet today is hugely different from the internet ten years ago, or even one year ago. To be able to keep up with changes, the way people search, the way consumers use the internet in order to make decisions, and more, you would need an extra 24 hours in a day, which nobody has. You need to be able to focus on your job of actually running your business, and leave the issue of reputation management to the professionals. But don’t think you can choose to not do either, to simply let things go, because you will quickly start to see your customer base drop and your profits diminish, without even understanding what has happened.

Let Your Employees Drive Your Innovation

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All businesses need to commit to innovation if they want to remain competitive in the market. One way to do achieve that is through idea management, enabling internal and external stakeholders to come up with ideas for improvement. To capture this innovation, idea management software can be of great benefit. However, there are still some businesses that struggle to understand why they should consider this, and how it could benefit their business to listen closely to every employee. Yet, if they commit to employee driven innovation, they could see their business grow exponentially.

What Is Employee Driven Innovation?

The system of employee driven innovation is one where solutions and ideas are put forward by employees. What matters about this is that they are encouraged to think outside of the box, and beyond the confines of their job description. For example, someone who works in the finance department can put forward ideas about how to sort the post in the post room. They may not know as much about that particular area of their business, but it is in this that their strength lies: they have a fresh, and outsider perspective. Naturally, they can also put forward ideas about their own departments, but it is the openness and influence on everything that makes this innovation so powerful.

Within employee driven innovation, every idea is accepted and considered. This does not mean that it automatically gets accepted, however. So considering that, why do businesses resist this concept so strongly?

The Resistance to Employee Driven Innovation

There is a big challenge to be overcome in terms of convincing everybody across the board that each individual member of staff has potential solutions within them. One of the reasons for this is because the concept goes above and beyond the skills for which each individual was hired. Rather, it encourages people to think outside of the box and to become more collaborative with every element of the organization.

What idea management software does, is enable every individual to talk about their ideas using a single platform. Through this platform, they are empowered to say what they think, rather than having to go directly to a manager or another individual in the organization. Essentially, it is a process that encourages collaboration without any form of hierarchy.

By implementing idea management software, people become more engaged with their company, which leads to greater happiness. It also has a positive effect on retention, because people feel more valued by having their voice heard. Employee engagement has huge positive effects on every element of an organization.

By enabling people to think outside of the confines of their personal job or even their department builds a great deal of trust. People have a greater morale and are more loyal to their company. As an added benefit, everybody works together, across departments that they had previously never worked with. Those are huge benefits that make a company more efficient and creates a collaborative workforce that feels happy within their business.

Express Your Creativity On The Internet

The internet is one of the most powerful and intricate inventions of our time, it has the power to connect people from all over the World, it has changed the way in which we live our lives and it is an ever changing landscape of digital technology which enables us to do almost anything that we set our mind to. Despite this incredible power and limitless possibility, I far too often find myself sat on YouTube watching videos of animals fighting, a child biting his brother’s finger or old X-factor auditions when I want to pass some time online.

I decided a couple of months back that I was going to start to use my time online to do something a little more creative than just checking social media and if you want to do the same then here are some great things that you can be doing to express your creativity online.

YouTuber

Why not flip the YouTube camera around and become a star yourself, there are people out there getting millions of views on their YouTube channels, Nigerian pastor and prophet TB Joshua has a channel called Emmanuel TV which has amassed over 700 million views, that is just an example of the success which you can find here. The idea is to be funny informative, thought provoking or altogether weird if you want to find success on YouTube and if you are engaging enough then you could become a star.

Blogging

Blogging is a great way to express your creativity on the internet, you can blog about absolutely anything that you want to and meet people across the web who share your ideas. The beauty of blogging is that it offers absolute freedom and gives you a chance to show off your creative side. In order to gain traffic you should be utilizing social media to grow your blog’s reputation and engaging regularly with readers of your blog. Blogging can be used to share written content, photography, videos and everything in between and it can be a great way to use your time online.

Sell Yourself

If you have a gift for making things then you could be in line to make some money by selling your hand made wares on the internet. Websites like Etsy specialize in the selling of hand-made and unique products and this can be a great place for you to show off what you can do and make some money in the process. Be warned, the bar is pretty high on these websites so you need to be sure that your designs and creations are absolutely on the money, if you sell sub standard stuff then you won’t last very long in the marketplace.

There are many other ways in which you can get creative online, these are just some of the ways that I have been exploring in the past few months, the key is to try something different and stop spending your days on YouTube like I used to.