'Glass Ceiling' Breakthrough? - No Thanks!

 By: Margaret Stead
Did you know that the Wall Street Journal coined the term 'Glass Ceiling,' twenty years ago and ever since researchers have debated why women seldom reach the highest ranks in business?

Do you think it is because senior men exclude women from their 'locker room' networks? Or do women look above the ceiling and decide that life is too short? My fifteen years work as a fully-credentialed Business Psychologist specialising in careers has revealed that the answer is both all and NONE of the above!

You may have seen a new study of 1,200 executives by Accenture in eight countries that shows 70% of women and 57% of men believe there is a virtual 'glass ceiling' that prevents women reaching the boardroom. So what is causing women to 'duck' out 'at the eleventh hour'?

There's even a new book by Warren Farrell, 'Why Men Earn More' that lists 25 reasons why he thinks men earn more than their female counterparts. "Women make sacrifices at work in exchange for greater happiness in their lives as a whole," says Warren Farrell, author of 'Why Men Earn More.' One of the reasons he says is because "Women work fewer hours."

Any woman reading this will know, that whilst they may qualify for fewer 'Payroll' hours - because they have to fit their family responsibilities around largely 'unfriendly' employment practices, they do invariably put in MORE work than the man at the next desk.

In fact many employers will freely admit that they like to hire women, because they work HARDER than male employees.

No, I believe that women 'hit' a glass ceiling because they ARE better than the average Joe and I can prove it.

You see in fifteen years of coaching individuals through a 'forced' career transition, I have noticed that people leaving corporates are often brighter, more creative, more confident, more independent than the people they leave behind.

In fact I believe that companies paradoxically 'get rid' of their 'best' people. In the psychometric assessments we have used for fifteen years with every career development clients.

We have found that our male and female managers are significantly more intelligent than a comparative sample of individuals studying in a prestigious business school. The men score 8 IQ points more than the mean, women up to 10 IQ points!

Furthermore, our personality assessments and aptitude tests find them more creative, more confident, more independent than 'perceived wisdom' about redundancy 'victims', might have us suspect.

In fact many of these women are setting up business to offer coaching back to the corporate who let them go!

Copyright 2006 Margaret Stead
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