WEST Wisdom Blog

Breaking Through the Mirrored Door: Uncovering the Hidden Barriers to Your Career Advancement

Posted by Courtney Cyron on Jul 8, 2024 4:47:52 PM

We’ve all heard of the glass ceiling, but there’s an even deeper barrier that needs to be 2024 TMD Series-2 discussed. This hidden barrier, as Ellen Connelly Taaffe refers to it in her book, The Mirrored Door: Break Through the Hidden Barrier That Locks Successful Women in Place, is constructed from the well-intentioned norms that are ingrained in women’s minds and holding them back more than they realize.

Ellen’s work is coming to the WEST community as a four-part, deep dive workshop series this summer. The sessions will be led by Etta Jacobs of Power in the Middle and Tammy Gooler Loeb, Career and Executive Leadership Coach.

The expectation that women think they need to match every skill and standard within a job description perfectly may be keeping them from progressing in their careers. “If you meet all of the requirements for a new job, you are simply making a lateral move,” shares Etta Jacobs, “not a promotion. I’ve had female clients say they can’t apply for a job because they don’t have all of the qualifications.” Ellen Taaffe elaborates on this in her TEDx speech, which sparked the idea for her book, The Mirrored Door.

The book includes activities that help readers reflect on how they see themselves, how others see them, and the kinds of work they really want to do. The WEST workshops will be highly interactive, allowing participants to uncover their own hidden barriers. The first three sessions will focus on one of the book’s three parts. The fourth session will be a fireside chat with the author.

The book provides varied activities for self-reflection. Etta and Tammy will present some of these activities and will facilitate discussions to enable participants to gain a deeper understanding of the steps they can take for their own career advancement. 

“It’s not about fixing or changing who you are,” shares Etta. “It’s about starting with your strengths, then noticing and understanding our conditioning, and looking at the ingrained habits that aren’t helping us.” In identifying those strengths, we’re able to develop the courage that fuels our confidence. This self-reflection will enable attendees to discover and address the barriers that may be holding them back. The stories and insights that Etta and Tammy will share throughout the series, will amplify the lessons in Ellen’s book to help each participant reframe their mindset. 

“I love the way the book is structured,” shares Tammy on her podcast with Ellen. “It really gives the reader a chance to do some reflection, to think about themselves in these contexts, both in terms of the positives and in the ways that these things may be getting in the way and really working through them. And not in a way where you’ll be overwhelmed by them, but really working through it constructively.” 

“We encourage you to read the book to help you get a sense of where you see yourself and where you may want some help,” shares Etta. “However, the WEST sessions will be meaningful whether or not you’ve read the book. You will be invited to share personal insights or simply take in the stories of others. We want each participant to realize that you are not alone; whatever you are struggling with, someone else probably is too.” 

Join Etta Jacobs and Tammy Gooler Loeb for this deep dive into Ellen Connelly Taafe’s book, The Mirrored Door: Break Through the Hidden Barrier that Locks Successful Women in Place, and experience the opportunity to break through your own hidden barriers. We encourage you to purchase Ellen’s book, and register to join us for the first event in the WEST series on July 18, 2024!

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Topics: Mentoring, Coaching, Mindfulness, Author Chat, Confidence, Book Club, Self-Reflection, #WESTevent, Purpose, Identity, STEM Women

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