The Glass Ceiling Isn’t Real
Is this “Glass Ceiling” real? I don’t think so. I believe it’s a constructed self-imposed limit because it’s easier to be a victim placing blame on others than to recognize and use your own power.
What are we “smashing through?” Other people’s opinions of where we should be in our lives?
“Crystal, you know full well how women are not taken seriously in business, even by other women.”
My response is that in order to be taken seriously by anyone, you must first take yourself seriously and accept no less.
Whose permission are you waiting for to be told you’re worth it? Or you are enough? Or that you are capable? You must believe it for yourself. No one is going to tell you this and as you’re well aware, some people will tell you exactly the opposite.
Now, I want to be very clear. This article is not meant to discourage or degrade women. It is meant to empower them. To help them see that they are already in control of their own lives and should not let anyone else tell them what they can or cannot be.
In order to do that, we must accept responsibility for every decision, response, and action that we make.
What do you have to prove? That you’re equal? That you’re capable? That you’re deserving? Who are you trying to prove this to?
You see, when you believe something about yourself, no one can tell you any different and have it affect you.
Really be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if these limits that you see ahead of you are limits that you’ve put on yourself because you can’t see a different way or are they limits that someone else put on you and you’ve accepted them.
Every time a married woman has cancelled a session with me because her kids were sick or she couldn’t find a babysitter, the husband is at work. And my clients who still make their session regardless of these setbacks, are the ones reaching their goals.
I do not discount the enormous responsibility of being a parent. But why are women automatically changing their schedules and putting their dreams on hold, while men go to work or build their business?
Is a woman’s business less important or more flexible because she works from home? Or makes less? This is not equality.
And I realize that some families do share the responsibilities. (In fact, very good friends of mine do exactly this). I don’t shame a family for these choices, in fact, if that’s the way you want it, I don’t care. But we need to start thinking about women’s issues and if some of them are brought on ourselves.
At the same time women complain there aren’t enough of them rising to the top, they take maternity leave or years off, they may come back part time, and then demand promotions. Doesn’t it make sense that a man who has stayed in the market and therefore took steps to rise has an edge over a women on the corporate ladder?
Can we be real? I don’t think most women actually want to climb higher in companies. Why? Because typically, with higher positions come more responsibility which take more time. I don’t think women actually want longer hours or more responsibility because it takes time away from their family or lives. That’s ok. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a choice. But what’s not ok with me is not taking responsibility for your own decisions and calling it a “societal problem.”
Stop blaming others for your decisions. It’s ok to do what you want and live how you see fit. But these are your choices.
What does “success” mean to you? How do you know if you’ve reached it? Is it that you get the C-Suite position? Is it that you have a family and are surrounded by love? Is it that you’ve created your own business and deal your own cards? It’s different for everyone. So how can we define a goal of smashing through this “glass ceiling” when each person’s goals are different?
We devalue stay at home moms saying they aren’t contributing or they are lazy. We devalue working moms saying they are bad moms for not being home or their priorities are messed up. We even devalue childless women saying they are selfish or missing out.
How do anyone else’s desires have anything to do with you? It seems to me the “societal problem” we face is judgment.
Women are equal. We’re all equal. Some just don’t believe that they are. If a women is earning less than a man in the same position, can we ask the question, “has she negotiated for more?” What if women just need to learn how to be better negotiators?
Whenever I speak my mind on the subject, I guaranteed, get someone say to me, “without women, you wouldn’t be here.” Actually, we wouldn’t be here without men either. It’s a scientific fact. So can we stop the “women are better” argument?
I don’t believe that men are plotting against women to keep them out of the high level positions. I believe they are embracing their own power, reaching their goals and women, or any other person for that matter, isn’t part of that. To the men in higher positions, do we say they are oppressing other men in lower positions? No, we don’t. We’ve created this division of gender and are only looking to point fingers.
It has nothing to do with women. Isn’t just as unequal to request that men stop building their own life, chasing their own dreams, because it’s hurts women’s feelings or makes them feel less? Should we aim to lower everyone’s results to the least common denominator or should we teach others to rise up?
No one can make you feel something. And yes, I realize that it’s easier said than done. But be responsible for your own actions, reactions, and emotions, and stop pinning them on others.
When you start taking responsibility for every decision, response, and action in your life, you will begin to see opportunities you can’t see right now.
So ladies, take your individual power back. It’s only then you can help other women do the same. Remind other women of their power, of their choice, to rise to whatever level they desire and remind them that they don’t have to live by someone else’s opinion of them.
And gentlemen, while you keep rising to whatever level you desire, remind women they, and only they, control their lives.