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

Five people facing charges after Castlegar drug bust

A Castlegar man is facing drug trafficking charges following a drug bust in Castlegar July 4.

Updated: Coroner investigating death of Trail man

A complicated recovery was required for a man who died in a fall above the Trail hospital

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Commercial huckleberry pickers put on notice

Fines for large-scale picking in place under B.C. Land Act; public urged to report offenders to RAPP

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email editor@trailtimes.ca

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Most Read