Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yes Virginia, there is a Glass Ceiling

I hadn't landed back home more than a few hours from SMB Nation, when I picked up the morning's paper and read the title "For some women, maternal wall meets glass ceiling". I was actually glad to see this come up at a time where half of us are saying this is not an issue and half are saying that they have first hand proof of that very thing. Many of the women interviewed had taken breaks only to find that their positions had been "modified" AND often they weren't welcome back to the same position (usually a management or upper mid-management one) or there was a position at a lower "ranking". So then there is no surprise to look at the figures Eileen Brown's group put together and give great thought and credibility to the fact that over 75% of women had no plans to take a break.

What in heaven's name is going on here?

So does this mean there is a glass ceiling for child bearing women only. No but perhaps it is the more prevalent one and its worth asking how we can't come to accept this as a possibility. As an independent business person I can't make any comment here but I can tell you it was certainly interesting to see how people treated you. In most cases I was all of a sudden less "credible" and this certainly was the case with people who didn't know me and I ended up taking no time off whatsoever. Foolish, but it was clear to clients and staff I was trying to prove a point. I was no less competent and my business was not taking a hit form my ability to give birth. Today I see that as a mistake and I certainly wasn't doing myself any favors.

What we need to ask ourselves is are we also treating our pregnant coworkers differently as their workload is offloaded and jealous of their pending break. Are we not keeping an eye and ear out for their jobs and ensuring that we not only protect our females counterparts but also don't inadvertently try to take their jobs from them while they're absent. And why don't we stand up when we see that glass ceiling coming down on their heads. That could be our daughters, if not ourselves, next.

In this day of mobile workforces why should this be an issue?

Something to think about.

No comments: