We know that gender inequality at senior levels is a real and important limitation for women in most careers, including STEM. But, have we fully acknowledged the self-limitations we women impose on our own careers? As women in science and technology (and probably most fields), we are often our own worst enemies. Rather than hitting our heads on the glass ceiling, we find ourselves sticking to a floor, where we have poured the molasses.
In my more than 20-year career in biotech, I have found myself sticking to the floor too many times. In my early and mid-career years, I waited to be recognized and promoted instead of self-advocating, as most men do routinely. I thought my accomplishments were self-evident and therefore sufficient to bring advancement. But, unless you have an extraordinary boss, one who is self-confident, sensitive and dedicated to your professional growth (rather than his/her own), that is often not the case. My 23-year-old son is in sales and on multiple occasions has asked his boss to restructure his commission plan. Although he has been successful several times and unsuccessful multiple times, he has been neither embarrassed, deterred nor hurt by asking. I wish I had been so confident and enterprising in my early career! Asking for something that you want or feel you deserve can lead to only two outcomes: 1) you get what you want; 2) you don’t. It’s really that simple. You will not be laughed at or fired. And, you might even get what you asked for-a promotion, a more flexible schedule, or new responsibilities. So, how do we clean the floor and release our potential?
WEST is fortunate to have Rebecca Shambaugh, founder of Women In Leadership and Learning (WILL), leading a workshop on May 23rd to provide “A Roadmap for Women Leaders to Be Bold: Strategies and Techniques to Rise Off the Sticky Floor." Rebecca has been showcased by numerous media outlets including CNBC, TED Talks, and NPR. She has been featured in publications such as: Harvard Business Review, Leader to Leader, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today, Fortune Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Pink Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Rebecca has also published several books including the best seller “It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s A Sticky Floor.”
Rebecca will share research results and compelling stories of how she and her organization have coached hundreds of women off the “sticky floors”- self-limiting beliefs, assumptions, and behaviors that unknowingly sabotage women’s confidence and ability to achieve their career goals and aspirations. As attendees, we will walk away with a greater awareness of our own sticky floors, and we will be equipped with a practical toolbox for exploring new avenues that will open doors and create pathways for bolstering confidence to reach our greatest potential. No mop needed!