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

Gitxsan forming cross-sector salmon management team

Nation again declares closure of fishery in territory for 2019

It’s the last day to vote in B.C.’s referendum on electoral reform

Ballots must now be dropped off in person to meet the deadline of 4:30 p.m.

Motorhome explosion in Houston

A motorhome by the Houston Motor Inn had an explosion Sunday, Dec.… Continue reading

SD54 elects board positions

Trustees also appointed to committees.

Christmas is a comin’

Some of Houston residents are getting the ball rolling for the upcoming… Continue reading

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read