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Smashing the glass ceiling

Glass ceilings can be a very real concern for a lot of people in the working world.  A glass ceiling is a common term for an unofficial roadblock in career progression.  It’s commonly associated with women and minority workers but can affect anyone.  So how do you go about breaking through?

There are things you can do to try and break through this glass ceiling, gaining the promotion past where you feel you are stuck.

Don’t be worried

Although there is still widespread talk of glass ceilings, and it can and does affect many people today, times are changing.  Maybe a bit too slowly but they are.

You only have to look into everyday life to see it happening;

  • Theresa May and Angela Merkel (as of 2017) are two women among many who are in charge of some of the most powerful countries in the world.
  • We have a lot more female sports presenters on TV and radio.
  • Our very own CEO, Charlie has set up and is now running one of the most successful recruitment agencies in the area.

Although it is slow going, there are some really exciting changes happening out there.  A lot of what is happening these days, like the examples above would have been unheard of not that long ago.


Networking is a great tool to get your name and experience out into the world.  It’s not just for businesspeople, but politicians and celebrities as well.  Breaking through a glass ceiling is always a lot easier if you have support from those around you.  This is the case with everyone, of course, but even more so if you feel there are forces working against you.

If the people around you know what you are capable of and can attest to that then you will be in a much better position than if no-one knows who you are at all.

If you don’t know how to start or go about this, it might be wise to try and find a mentor inside or outside your organisation.  They don’t even need to be from the same sector but choose someone who you feel will really be able to help steer you in the right direction, and give you great advice and criticism.

Move forward

Keep up the great work.  Keep your eye on the ball.  Keep pushing for new opportunities.  Suggest new ways of doing things.  Put things in writing so it’s documented and then submit them to your managers.  By continously pushing, you are showing everyone that you are doing great work.  This way you’re always making a case for yourself.

Stay positive

Sometimes it’s not that there is a glass ceiling or someone in the way, sometimes it’s our own attitude or experience.  Take a step back and ask yourself if you think you are showing everyone what you can do.  Absolutely ensure you are not holding yourself back at all.

Self-critique is difficult as you may not know the answer.  This is why a mentor, as mentioned above can really help – as long as their completely honest with you and you can take the constructive criticism.  Stay positive in all situations.  Sometimes even appearing negative can really come across badly.


This is really important.  Keep pushing your points and ideas across, making sure you back it all up with facts and in writing.  If you think you deserve the promotion or pay rise, really show managers and people around you that you are absolutely deserving.

Apply for jobs and new opportunities confidently and knowing inside that you can do it.  Being bold like this will help you to feel confident and help others see the confidence too.

Hopefully, you will get what you deserve, and you may even help others do the same in the future.  Good luck!