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Just What is the Glass Ceiling, and is it Really Stopping You?

Female Speaker

Woman vs. Man.

Seriously? No way.

It’s not Woman vs. Man. Oddly, the question of a glass ceiling is posed to me quite often, because I’m a woman in a male-dominated industry – the trades. I’m often asked if being a woman is the glass ceiling and how to climb the corporate ladder with men. As I write this, I smile because the glass ceiling is so silly.

The glass ceiling metaphor — an invisible barrier. Often this metaphor is used to describe scenarios involving women. It’s only about woman vs. man until you make it about something else.

I brought in the mail the other day, and the stack just felt heavier. I spread the mail out on the kitchen table, and boom. There it was, glaring at me, mocking me. Jury summons. I know. It’s my civic duty. I reminded myself to be grateful as I marked my calendar.

The year was 1972, and a woman living in certain states still couldn’t serve on a jury until the next year. Today, we find it unfathomable that there once was a time when women were unable to perform this civic duty – the civic duty was only for men. Today, we enjoy equal rights. Perhaps there was a glass ceiling, and clearly that glass ceiling was broken as parades of women marched through into freedom.

The glass ceiling is a self-fulfilling prophecy

selffulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.

The self-fulfilling prophecy is the fear in one’s mind, the fear of that ubiquitous glass ceiling.

Three practical ways to live without a glass ceiling

The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg. If you are waiting for your big break, wait with patience and purpose by keeping preparation in mind.

  1. Be prepared.
    • A runner never waits until race day to train. They train months in advance.
  2. Focus less on success, and more on being purposeful.
    • Do you turn wrenches or build great businesses? Perspective.
  3. Make your relationships bigger.
    • Did you know the average household today is losing 70 minutes per day of human interaction because of technology devices? If we are losing over an hour a day of human interaction in our homes, how much more are we losing DURING our prime working hours of the day? The hours when we’re supposed to be networking, relationship-building, and accomplishing the tasks we’re paid to do – our jobs?
    • Are your relationships big enough to get the job done? How are you keeping score with your relationships – how well are you doing with your customers, employees and partnerships?

Following these three practical steps will ensure you’re always moving forward. And how can a glass ceiling stop you if you’re always in a forward motion?

The Unicorn Creates Utopia 

Unicorns are the best and weird all at the same time. The horn on their head is called an alicorn – the myth was that an alicorn could neutralize poison. And isn’t the glass ceiling like a poison in our minds?

Is it me, or has anyone else noticed that the theme for toys and kid designs this year is unicorns? I’ve been thinking of them daily – odd, I know – who thinks about unicorns!? Well, I’ve been thinking about unicorns because they symbolize utopia, and utopia is that dream of a future where we are all thriving in unity, strength and excellence, without a glass ceiling.

The glass ceiling is beyond utopia; it’s your future reality. With the network of relationships, knowledge and education available, the only excuse that is consistent is limiting belief, and it’s a self-inflicted poison. 

In typical fashion, I read a book last week called “How I Got Millionaire Mentality.” Lo and behold, this simple and short read answered the age-old question that I know has held thousands of entrepreneurs back in their lives, and I’m still awe-struck by the simplicity of the answer. The question was this, “Why go after your dreams, because what happens if you fail?” The answer was this: it’s better to have 5% of something than 100% of nothing.

Written by Danielle Putnam.

Have you read?

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# Top US B-Schools For Female Students To Pursue MBA, 2019.
# Fashion Tips For Hotel Management College Students.

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Danielle Putnam
Danielle Putnam is president of The New Flat Rate, a home service menu-selling system designed to put profit directly into the hands of plumbing, electrical, and HVAC contractors. She’s also the 2019 president of Women in HVACR, a non-profit member-based organization providing professional avenues for networking and educating women while encouraging more women to enter the trades. Danielle Putnam is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow her on LinkedIn.