Business of Men

Does the glass ceiling really exist?


We hear a lot about the glass ceiling, and how it prevents women from achieving at the highest levels. But is there really a glass ceiling or are we as women holding each other back?  Being in the male dominated field I am, you would think the women would band together almost as the “band of brothers” to ensure that the knowledge and mentorship is handed down to our “band of sisters” to ensure growth and continuity. As I progress in my career as well as branching out as an entrepreneur, I find that women are the ones creating the barrier to progression.

With the exception of one other woman (thank you, LTC Cynthia Blevins), in my 24 years in the workforce, men have been the ones to provide the solid advice and mentorship that have provided valuable guidance for my career progression. Is it that we can only have one woman in a dominant role therefore we need to ensure that we stand out ahead of the pack? Or is it that we haven’t learned how to mentor without feeling threatened by our female peers?

I believe it is easier to blame the men for holding us back from equal pay and promotions because we don’t want to address the issues directly. Just as when we find out that our partner is cheating, we address the other woman rather than the man that made the commitment to us.  I have spoken to many of my male counterparts and they have no idea what I’m talking about and have said they have always received adequate guidance when they ask.

The resolution is blurry because you can’t predict the outcome if you do approach a woman in a higher position, however if you’re willing to take the risk:

– be honest and ask the questions that you truly need guidance on

– assure her that you aren’t trying to replace, her just achieve the same goals

– find a female mentor in the same field that is not within your organization

– if you still get no help, ask a male for guidance

As women we have to gain the confidence to know that just as there is room for the men, there is an abundance of room for us women.  Learn and perfect your craft and reach back to help others once you reach one of your goals.  We can’t blame the men if we are the ones that are truly intimidated by each other.  As always, the choice is yours.

About Jamillah Foulkes

Jamillah Foulkes is the owner of Empower U-- your empowerment Life Coach – an officer in the U.S. Army. She has BA in psychology from Northwestern State University and a MSA in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. She helps people stop being the passenger in their relationships and start being the conductor of their life. People gain the confidence to transform unhealthy relationships with their partner, mother, father, friends, co-workers, etc… by learning how put a value their self worth. Visit our websiteor email [email protected]

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