The glass ceiling. A business practice which caused women sleepless nights and an enduring sense of frustration over many decades. We always knew that we were great at our jobs; that we poured our hearts into our work and gave maximum effort each day. Many of us had even spent many years in college or technical training preparing. For some reason though, that never seemed to be given too much consideration. Our enemy appeared to have the upper hand.
At every turn, our nemesis would taunt us with logic that went something like this: “we shouldn’t invest too much time and effort in you, after all you’ll lose interest in a career once you’ve become a mother.” Or the misguided notion that “we only worked to get out of the house, while our spouses made the ‘real’ money.” Every once in a while, one of us—like an expert dancer— would display agility and side-step these chauvinistic notions by breaking through. We would collectively rejoice, even while overhearing things like: “They only gave her the job so they could meet a quota.” We kept at it though and things started to change on ever-wider scales— for the better.
We as women always knew that we could, we just started seeing it more. Success in business even became common. Today, our enemy is on the run—but we still have a long way to go. For instance, while there are more women in real estate than men, statistics show that there are more men in broker-ownership/ management and Business Insider says: “Real estate is among the top U.S. professions where men are paid more than women for performing the same job” … women earned only $66 for every $100 earned by males.” I personally, would love to see more women in positions of power— whether it be in real estate or otherwise.
To put it bluntly, I feel that women still struggle with the effects of centuries of belief that men (alone) are “scions of power” and unfortunately, some of us may even actually believe it. This power myth is both unhelpful and untrue. Part of this is the fault of society, but so many attitudes are shaped by a person’s upbringing. I’d like to think that I’ve raised my daughters to believe that they can become anything they choose to be. Since I’ve never felt diminished as a woman in business or life, I’ve raised my daughters to be confident and embrace challenges— I think this a productive approach.
What does the future hold? I think we’re heading in the right direction. However, fighting a battle in the mind is always more difficult than one in the boardroom, so we must continue to see ourselves and each other as equal to the tasks we’ve chosen. In other words, we need to continue to believe in ourselves and each other. We’ve come a long way, let’s finish the journey! We almost had a woman in the most powerful job in the world… that’s a lot to live up to.