Did you hear that? It sounds like the sounds of glass-ceilings shattering, doors opening, and new seats being pushed to the table.
We are still on a high from the inauguration of our first black, first woman, and first Asian-American Vice President, Madam Kamala Harris. While she continues to make history, we want to give you some tips for breaking down barriers in your workplace. (photo Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
How to Shatter A Glass Ceiling
Representation is the way we see what is attainable for us, and the lack of it can create a negative story in our minds about our possibilities.
"If I don’t see anyone like me doing this, how can I be sure it really can be done?"
It's disappointing that there are still so many ceilings that still have to be shattered. While it is challenging to do the necessary work to breakthrough, here are some things you can do to make the road easier.
Use comparables for best practices. If you don’t see anyone that reflects your experience in the role you want to get to, look for a comparable example and seek to understand their experiences and insights. For example, if you want to be the Chief Counsel in your organization and there has never been a woman of color there, can you learn from the man of color who did it? Can you get connected with the woman of color who did it at a different organization? If you are lucky enough to build a relationship, use it for strategic help and mentorship.
Work your butt off and shamelessly promote yourself. Make developing your brand as important as breathing. Promote your work at every opportunity. Make sure you are speaking up in meetings, talking to people in the elevator, chatting with senior leaders, and telling the story of your work and contributions. The whole company should know who you are and the work you do.
Take risks even when they don’t make sense. Don’t meet 100% of the qualifications? Apply anyway. Not sure you really deserve that raise? Ask for it anyway. Feeling like you lack the experience to take on that role? Get some help, and coaching and take the role anyway. Stop second-guessing yourself and giving yourself extra hoops to jump through! High confidence and the ability to take risks are non-negotiable if you want to break that ceiling down.
Invest in every professional development resource you can get your hands on. If you want to shatter a glass ceiling and land an opportunity no one like you has had before, you need to become really great at what you do. You become great by continuously working on your brand. Utilize coaches, collect feedback, spend time reflecting, and spend resources (both your company’s and your own) to attend every training you can to strengthen your skills.
Keep reminding yourself you are worthy. It is exhausting, isolating, and stressful to continuously have to pave a way for yourself and feel the need to prove your worth, while some leaders excuse away their implicit bias. Systemic disadvantages, however, are not your fault. So whether you need to make a list of your talents, keep a journal of positive quotes, vision board it out or whatever works for you, find a way to remind yourself every single day that you deserve a seat at the table as much as anyone else, because you do.
View more tips and the full article on HuffPost.
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Congratulations to our founder and CEO Angelina Darrisaw for being honored at the 16th Annual Young Gifted and Black Entrepreneurial Awards. She is receiving the Strategic Vision Award in Business Development.
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