You’re smart. You’re hard-working. You’re dedicated … and yet your career has inexplicably stalled. You keep getting passed over for promotions and executive roles, no matter your qualifications or record of contributions to the company. What’s going on?
It’s possible that you have hit a “glass ceiling” in your industry, limiting your advancement and thwarting your career goals simply because of your gender.
The truth is that many industries fail to promote female employees at the same rate that they do male employees. It is notoriously challenging to find companies that contain an equal male-to-female ratio of employees in the higher levels of management.
Some of the most common industries in which women experience glass ceiling issues are:
- Government agencies such as police departments
- Technological development such as software companies
- Professional practices such as accounting firms
- Financial services such as insurance companies
- Health care services such as medical clinics
The slow attrition of female talent is also a concern
Some believe that the glass ceiling isn’t the only reason that many women’s careers seem to stall. An article in The Guardian suggests that businesses today are suffering from a gradual attrition of female employees caused by an array of small issues that have a significant cumulative effect.
In other words, it may not be that you successfully climb the corporate ladder to a certain point and then suddenly stop. It may be that you encounter small obstacles at each rung that make upward momentum harder and harder to maintain.
For instance, if you have children, your manager may mistakenly assume that you would not be interested in a position that requires extensive travel. Or, if your company has a regular round of promotions once a year, and you happen to be on maternity leave during that time, you may miss out on opportunities.
Understanding your options
If you believe you are facing gender discrimination in the form of a glass ceiling or other career problems, it’s worthwhile to consult an employment law attorney who can carefully evaluate your situation and provide the knowledgeable guidance you deserve.