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The future of women in the working world Pt2: Beyond the glass ceiling

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In our sub-series of devcast… ‘The future of women in the working world’, Nicola Broomham – Director of Client Solutions at deverellsmith sat down with Susan Gregory – Organisational Development Consultant and Ellie Rees – Co-owner and Director at Brickworks for the Pt.2.

In the episode, the three debate the topic of a glass ceiling, a metaphorical barrier that obstructs the upward progression of women in the workplace, which has long been a topic of concern and discussion.

Despite the tremendous strides made in gender equality, it remains a big factor that affects not just women across their careers, causing them to encounter hurdles on their path to achieving their professional goals.

Read below a snippet of what was discussed in the episode or listen now to their full podcast.  

What do we mean by a glass ceiling?

Susan Gregory shares that the more she has reflected on her own journey and educated herself the more she questions – is it something we’ve constructed that isn’t true?

In general, the ‘glass ceiling’ refers to the limit that is set for women with how high women can go within an organisation, above that it’s very difficult to break through. If someone wants to get into those senior positions, you either can’t or have to change who you are to be accepted into the C-suite leadership positions.

The second part to this is the idea of career ladders, and wanting to get to the top, which is something Susan now challenges quite vocally. There are a couple of women that have written podcasts on squiggly careers, and Susan explains that this is what her career looks like. She has worked in places for between 18 months - 2 years and in some of those she has hit a glass ceiling, but in others, on reflection, she admits she had added all of the value she could and outgrown the business, and that has to be okay to some degree as well.

 Should we dismiss the word ceiling?

It conjures up an idea of a linear trajectory and Ellie Reese illustrates that historically and traditionally women tend to take on a large share of the childcare and the responsibilities in the domestic sphere. It has suited men to have a more linear trajectory in a career as it’s a case of climbing up and tends to be simpler. Whereas the natural breaks for women, tend to be there.

Listen to the full podcast to learn more…