Success Is Not Gender Specific
For the past year, I have been lucky enough to work for a company that has extended wonderful opportunities my way so that I will be able to accumulate a variety of job experiences within the Marketing and Human Resources departments. However, I have noticed a type of hierarchy within the office that is debatably concerning. For the most part, the males of the office tend to be the “superiors”, with only a handful of women in higher power situations. Most other women are only promoted so many times until they find themselves stuck in their job positions. Though this tends to be the case in most businesses around the nation, I have met some very ambitious women that have successfully worked their ways into the higher rankings.
Ouch! Where Did That Ceiling Come from?
In this 2010 TED talk given by Sheryl Sandberg, the lack of women in leadership roles in the United States is discussed. During her talk, Sandberg states her three pieces of advice for women that have a desire to remain in the work force: sit at the table, make your partner a real partner, and do not leave before you leave. The piece of advice that really stands out is the first, sit at the table. Part of the concept of sitting at the table is not falling victim to the glass ceiling phenomenon. Julia T. Wood describes the glass ceiling as an invisible limit that prevents a marginalized group, women in this case, from further advancement. Another, very large part of this is the term glass walls. As defined by Wood, this is the term used to describe the placement of women in “pink collar” positions typically associated with women. The office that I have been working in is a great example of this gender segregation in the workplace.
Take Notes, Everyone!
As I said earlier, the leadership roles within the office that I work in consists mainly of males. The individuals that hold these positions are known as Producers, and they are the salesforce that acquires new clients; less than 10% of this salesforce is female. Of the nine Producers that work for this specific division, one has made exceptional strides in the short time that they have been on the salesforce. This producer is number one in the office for selling new business and is in charge of the largest property and casualty account managed in the division. This individual is ranked number 72 out of 650 in the country for selling new business, and is consecutively in the top 50 each month for acquiring a new business sale that generates more than $2500 in revenue. This producer is also a woman.
Pull Up a Chair, Ladies!
Nicki Rojas is an extremely motivated, intelligent, ambitious woman that decided early on that she wanted to be successful. Not only has she surpassed all of the male Producers in her office in an astoundingly short time frame, but she is also doing better than 90% of the male salespersons countrywide. Nicki has not allowed herself to settle, she has continuously strived to be the best and continue her education so as not to bump her head on the glass ceiling. She has asserted herself well enough to be in a leadership position within the office that is typically held by males. She has pulled up a nice, comfortable armchair and taken a seat front and center.