The pioneers of feminism would be glad to see the progress that is taking place in workplaces of this era as more women are getting top jobs. There are more women in workplaces today, and the number keeps increasing daily. Even more important to note is the significant number of women in the top roles in the job market. In Kenya, board diversity and inclusion rose to 36% in 2021. These developments mean that more women get into managerial positions every year.
This is not just happening. Women out here are working hard and pushing themselves to break the glass ceiling. Apart from reading informative books, several things contribute to this trend.
1. Fixing the biases in one’s mind
Times have changed, so mentioning unconscious bias as a limiting factor for progression in women’s careers may seem a cliche. However, research still insists that this bias exists. In its survey, Spencer Stuart found strong themes around unconscious bias for women, exclusion from informal networks or social activities, higher standards for women and assumptions about women’s interests or capabilities. “An overwhelming 86 per cent of respondents said unconscious bias had a moderate or big impact on their career advancement, and 76 per cent pointed to different standards for women than men,” said the report.
There are a lot of assumptions about women’s aspirations and interests based on biases and cultures among other things. Leaders need to reach out to people with diverse backgrounds to help overcome these challenges.
“Even the simple step of making leaders aware of these kinds of biases and assumptions — making the unconscious conscious — can make a meaningful difference. Leaders should be encouraged to look beyond the people who are raising their hands and proactively reach out to qualified people with diverse backgrounds and encourage them to apply.” – Spencer Stuart.
Unconscious bias has kept many women chained to roles that they could have left long ago and gone onto even higher positions. It is a game-changer to understand that one might have this unconscious bias and overcome it.
2. Advancing education opens chances for higher roles
One important aspect that comes in handy when it comes to growing one’s career is furthering one’s education along the said career. Some advanced levels of operation in a specific job require more knowledge and understanding of certain areas. This growth can only be attained when one decides to return to school and study. Continued studying ensures that one is always ready for any opportunity.
3. Soft skills help in getting to these top jobs
Knowledge and skills are enough to get a job but not enough to take an individual to the next step. More input is required if one is to climb the ladder to the extent of getting into a boardroom. In this case, soft skills come in handy when manoeuvring the murky workplace dynamics and finally getting into the top roles. Apart from advancing one’s education, one must work on soft skills such as communication and persuasion.
Careers: Key Soft Skills To Add To Your LinkedIn Profile
4. Access to women’s mentorship programs
Another aspect facilitating progress in women’s careers is mentorship. Hard work is not enough, but the correct information on how to go about one’s career takes women to the next level.
Career mentorship ensures that a woman bridges the experience and skills gap that could cost her an executive role. With many of these mentorship programs, many women have utilized their experiences and skills and gotten into administrative positions.
Career: 8 Steps To Finding A Perfect Mentor + Infographic
5. Opportunities for work-life balance
Climbing the career ladder comes with many responsibilities that may take women away from home or require them to focus more on office work. Most women are motivated to work by their families. This nature of women has brought about the need to create an environment that makes a work-life balance attainable.
Companies offering family care benefits have encouraged women to go into executive roles. When one can focus on work, knowing everything about their family needs has been catered for, they become more motivated.
6. Constantly looking for opportunities
Growth is looked for, as opposed to the idea of sitting around and waiting for it to come. Much as you work hard to position yourself in a place where you can quickly get opportunities, that is not enough. An employee needs to look for opportunities for career advancement constantly. It would be best if you also worked daily to make yourself eligible for the next big thing. One thing to note, though, is that opportunities exist in and out of one’s place of work.
These six aspects will make a woman advance her career to the highest level possible. The coming years are promising if the trend, as seen right now, continues.
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