How Women Can Break The Glass Ceiling?

Written on 24 February 2021.


For most of modern history, the world of business has been dominated by a certain profile. Women, minorities, and those in the LGBTQ community have consistently been left out of industry and entrepreneurship. 

In the last few decades, however, this narrative has slowly begun to change, with underrepresented communities breaking through the glass ceiling one by one and paving the way for others to follow suit. 

Nowadays, current technology allows the modern-day, cultured professional to balance their work-life with their personal lives, providing them with opportunities for development and advancement like never before.

Breaking the glass ceiling - online education - EDHEC Online

Does the glass ceiling still exist in 2021?

Yes, diversity and inclusion is still relevant!

While many areas of industry have made significant improvement, there is still much growth which can be made.  On average, for every 100 men who are promoted to manager positions, only 72 women get promoted and hired, and for black women, the number goes down to 58, according to a 2020 study Women in the Workplace. 

In a similar study by the National LGBT Survey, nearly 20 percent of all employees in the UK confessed that they did not feel comfortable being open in their workplaces. 

And yet the situation continues to improve.

The number of women in C-level suite positions has increased over 10 percent in the last five years. Today, 87 percent of companies are highly committed to gender diversity, compared to just 56 percent in 2012. 

A study published last year in the Journal of Business Ethics states that, in the US, anti-discriminatory policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity ultimately lead to higher firm performance. In 2019, the majority of new hires in the workforce belonged to minority groups. 

How to smash the glass ceiling?

What can you do to stand out at work?

  • Gather feedback. Dont be afraid to ask your teammates or managers for feedback outside of your review process. It will helps you find out what are the skills you need to learn. Indeed, if you dont yet have the qualifications for the position you seek, you have some work to do to develop the skills and expertise needed.
  • Create an action plan. Work on making your goal a reality. Find out how to master new skills and keep in mind that you always have the ability to change and evolve.
  • Volunteer for higher level projects.  It is important that you stand out and break out of the mold for your current position to demonstrate that youre able to take on higher level responsibilities. Volunteering for a new project outside of your current scope can be a good opportunity.
  • Seek out mentors who can support your career goals.  Its important to have internal advocates who can assert and support your career growth; without this, advancing your career can be much more challenging.

Be aware of the glass ceiling

  • Develop your awareness of the issue. Learn more about where glass ceilings exist in your organization. The better you understand the issue, the more opportunities you will identify to promote change.
  • Raise your concerns. If there is a glass ceiling in your company, but your managers are not aware of it, speak up: you may find important allies.
  • Be patient. Smashing a glass ceiling takes time, but check in regularly to see what progress is being made.
  • Take responsibility for your own development. If you’re not being given the opportunities in your current situation, it might be time to make the most of it by taking online courses in order to seek new positions.

Climbing the ladder: How to recognise when you need extra qualifications

How education improves your ability to break the glass ceiling?

Opportunities are becoming increasingly available to all different groups of people, and that means that room for advancement and growth is higher than ever before. And a wider variety of profiles means a larger pool of experiences, backgrounds, and circumstances. 

The difficulties of going back to school

For many, returning to a traditional school to pursue a degree full time isnt a feasible option. Women, for example, are eight times more likely than men to look after sick children or manage their children’s schedules. Statistically, Hispanic and black students in the U.S. are around 20 percent less likely to graduate from traditional institutions than their white counterparts.

Work-life balance and career growth

Non-traditional and online programmes are not prone to the same systems, rigidness, and time constraints as live, in-person programmes, and therefore are better able to meet the needs and goals of all types of advanced learning students.

There are many online programmes available for those seeking flexible study, but not all are created equal. For instance, EDHEC Business School offers a number of programmes which provide quality, creativity, and flexibility to any and all types of students looking to boost their professional profiles. 

Returning to Education: Choosing Between the Best Business Schools

Online education

EDHEC Business School is committed to bringing a wider array of voices to the table, and we understand that different backgrounds have different needs, work-life balance, goals, and learning styles. EDHEC Online:

  • Offers qualifications from a recognised elite business school, while giving the flexibility to study for those who already have a lot on their plates;
  • Develops unique teaching methods specifically adapted to online, with close work groups and a constant human element;
  • Establishes a tight-knit cohort and alumni network, to provide excellent networking opportunities and connections for furthering your career;
  • Provides ultimate flexibility in its coursework, allowing for much better balance and organisation: ¾ of the course can be done outside of fixed times, and live classes are available on replay. (Students are given a set pace to help them stay organised, but there are no punitive measures if a student needs a deadline extension.)

Take it from our participants:

Its true that between professional life, family life, and education on top of that it can get really busy. Luckily the tools we used are really practical, says Camille, EDHEC alumna and property management agency director. For example, I had resources available on my smartphone and laptop, so I could continue studying even while travelling. I also studied mostly in the evenings once the children were in bed, or during the weekend when I had more downtime. It can be a bit of a challenge to get organised in the beginning, but once youve figured out a system that works for you, the learning process can go really smoothly.

Work your way towards breaking the glass ceiling with our online programmes today.

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