One of my friends shared an article about gender discrimination that was posted on Harvard Business Review today. Basically the article says that the glass ceiling is still alive and well and that the common excuses for it are
This does not surprise me one bit – not only from personal experience, but from watching my women friends that are in professional jobs, as well as, the things I hear in comments on the Mom in Management Facebook and Twitter accounts.
What I find surprising is that not everyone realizes that this is a real and genuine issue that women are facing in today’s market. People – women included – don’t seem to realize that this is rooted in our culture and won’t be easily addressed just by graduating more women from college or by having stay at home dads instead of moms.
I know the term glass ceiling rubs people the wrong way and that many are tired of hearing it thrown out like an accusation. Or even worse, tired of seeing glass ceiling used as a plea for opportunities that a woman didn’t earn by her own merit.
However, there is a real and pervasive issue – whether you call it a glass ceiling or something else – that is causing our women to earn less pay for equal or even superior work than their male counterparts.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not bashing men here. This is not just men holding women back. I believe that women are just as culpable as men. When will we learn to negotiate for more money? When will we learn to lift up our chins and tell people what we are really worth?
While the strengths women bring to the table include our ability to collaborate, our willingness to support others and to mentor others to success – we need to add the ability to toot our own horns, to share our part of the successes others see happening, to open our mouths and tell people that we were an integral part of the results they like happening around them.
We can no longer keep quiet and expect actions to speak louder than words. Expect humility to be noticed and rewarded. People are too busy and usually too self involved to look beneath the layers.
We need to speak up and give them the information they need to realize just how good we really are and just how valuable we are to their team and the company.
**Article first published (by me) as Is Gender Discrimination Over? on Technorati.