Office Politics 101: Promotions may be denied because I’m a woman

A: The so-called “glass ceiling” is certainly found in most companies.

Q: I’ve been a junior manager for some time and have been unsuccessful in my applications for more senior positions. I often think it is because I’m a woman. Some colleagues feel I should demand to be treated more fairly. Your suggestions?

A: The so-called “glass ceiling”, which refers to the subtle discrimination against people advancing within an organization — in this case, women — is certainly found in most companies.

In fact, although many progressive companies and governmental agencies have made significant efforts to improve the opportunities for women (and visible minorities), the elimination or reduction of barriers seems to be moving at a sluggish pace.

The unfortunate reality of the situation is something we need to acknowledge. With time, perhaps, the circumstances will change as women move more into executive positions with the responsibilities and compensation to match. Advances will almost certainly not happen rapidly.

While this may sound rather discouraging, it is also prudent not to be concerned with a pervasive condition that won’t be resolved through your individual frustrations.

Your personal situation, however, may be something that can be addressed.

Approach the apparent discrimination with an open mind and don’t see yourself as a victim.

It is entirely possible, of course, that you could have been unsuccessful in your applications because others candidates — males, I presume ‚ were superior with better qualifications, experience and education.

Perhaps you were less prepared for your interviews and other applicants may have presented an image that was more authoritative and professional.

In any case, at this point you can’t be sure why you haven’t been promoted. Co-workers are suggesting you “demand to be treated more fairly”; in my view, that is ill-advised and will almost certainly create tension which could further diminish your opportunities for advancement.

If you haven’t already done so, arrange to meet with your supervisor confidentially in her office; working from prepared notes, respectfully request to know the reasons for your lack of career mobility.

Listen carefully and respond logically and calmly. Do not argue or whine.  Should she recommend you take a program of study to further your management skills, for example, accept her advice.

If you plan to remain with this company — and generally like the atmosphere — you’ll need to be seen as a positive force. After all, when you eventually receive a well-deserved promotion, you want to be chosen because you are simply the best person for the job!

 

Submit your confidential questions relating to work and office life to simongibson@shaw.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Kitimat resident is Conservative choice for fall election

Claire Rattée is a former Kitimat councillor

One in critical condition after train hits grader near Smithers

The collision occurred at the Lawson Road crossing in the rural community of Quick

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Happy anniversary Chia’s Dream Closet

Chia’s dream Closet celebrated their first year anniversary last week. Owner, Chia… Continue reading

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Missing Surrey showshoer caught in avalanche found dead on Vancouver mountain

North Shore Rescue resumed its search today after efforts were temporarily halted Tuesday due to snowstorm

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

‘It consumed my life’: Inside the world of gaming addiction

World Health Organization classifies gaming disorder as a mental health condition

Police seize bottles of grapefruit vodka from wanted man’s snow-pants

The men were pushing two shopping carts with a woman inside

Tonight’s sporting event costs more than the Super Bowl, and Obama is going

Tickets are going for more than $4,000 to watch the Duke - North Carolina basketball game

CRTC report finds ‘misleading, aggressive’ sales tactics used by telecom industry

Report recommends measures to make a fairer situation for consumers

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

Most Read