Millions of women across the country are building careers in today's workplace, but that does not mean that there are not still numerous challenges that many face as they look for success and opportunity. Sexism is still an issue in many work environments and female employees often need to do more than their male counterparts in order to achieve success. The glass ceiling is still an issue for many who are looking to rise up in the ranks, but there are some key strategies available from those who have already traveled this path that can lay the groundwork for success.
As Live Career notes, women are finding success in the corporate world, but issues of pay inequality and a lack of advancement opportunities continue to remain obstacles for many young women in the workplace. Despite these continuing challenges, experts do have a number of recommendations detailing how female employees can break through the barriers.
Embracing opportunities for education and connecting with others is key
Those who embrace the opportunity for as much training and education as they can get may well stand out and increase their odds for gaining significant career opportunities to advance at work. Many companies provide additional training or reimbursement for continuing one's education and the wise working woman will look for chances to focus on transferable skills that can help procure advancement possibilities not only at one's current company, but elsewhere in the future as well.
Developing strong interpersonal skills is critical for young women in today's workplace, as connecting with others and managing to stand out in positive ways are key for advancement. Networking is essential, and many experts point out that connecting with experienced female leaders who can act as mentors should be a top priority for young women beginning in their careers.
Exuding confidence makes a big impact
It is not uncommon for women to hold back in promoting themselves and their achievements in the workplace, sometimes being reserved in order to avoid labels like being perceived as being aggressive or bossy. However, experts do recommend some key strategies that can help young women stand out with confidence.
As Market Wired shares, communications expert Kimberly Gerber suggests some simple changes that can help to build up a positive image. For example, women may embrace posture shifts that exude confidence by facing audiences head-on and bending forward slightly from the waist. Looking others in the eye while communicating is critical and it can be helpful to set aside any anxiousness by focusing on the message that is being projected rather than the people who are listening.
Unfortunately, women frequently find themselves needing to strike a balance when it comes to assertiveness more often that what men typically face. Sexism is still all too common in varying aspects in the workplace and as the New Yorker details, this often comes to the forefront during negotiations. Women who are assertive in negotiating job offers, for example, seem to be dismissed or penalized more often than men, and this type of experience is frequently visible in other workplace aspects as well.
Be ready with solutions and be your own best advocate
While sexism is a very real problem in many work environments, and finding a balance when it comes to being assertive can be difficult, young women who want to advance and break the glass ceiling would do well to be aware of these issues and be strategic in how they are addressed. Women who are ultimately successful in their careers work at becoming comfortable with pointing out their assets and successes and do not shy away from advocating for themselves. It is wise to be prepared with solutions to problems and connect with others as much as possible.
Advancing in the workplace is not a guaranteed path for women, as breaking through the glass ceiling can still be difficult to make happen. However, young women entering the workforce these days can find opportunities and success with a strong focus and determination. Experts recommend looking for mentors, connecting with others, and building skill sets in order to stand out. Many women find themselves having to do things differently than what male counterparts may do, but success is achievable with some strategic moves and focus.
Author: Gloria Martinez I think it’s important to celebrate women-dominated industries. I created WomenLed.org to educate people about the many women-led achievements that have shaped our world.