Introducing The She-Suite™ Club

The Exclusive Empowerment Community for Leading Women

When Women win, we all win.
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Have you hit the “glass ceiling” so many times, it feels as if the top of your head is flat? Has your journey through the executive ranks seem to have stalled out? Are your dedication and hard work going unrewarded? Are you feeling underappreciated or misunderstood in the workplace? If so…welcome to The Club!

“This is THE place, where like-minded, executive-minded, forward-thinking women come to communicate—collaborate—and celebrate everything that it means to be a career-focused woman in a male-dominated work environment. This isn’t about ‘us vs. them.’ This is about us making a name for ourselves—taking a seat, and truly owning that seat, at the executive table—and doing so not as ‘clones’ of men, but as authentic, self-confident, self-empowered women.”

Amanda Blesing

2 x Author; Women’s C-Suite Mentor & Executive Coach; Founder: The She-Suite™ Club

Where empowered women empower other women. Because when women win, everyone wins.

What does having a glass ceiling mean and what can women do about it?

What does having a glass ceiling mean?  And what can women do about it?

Having a “glass ceiling” refers to an invisible barrier that prevents certain groups, typically women and minorities, from advancing to higher positions in a company or organisation, especially into upper management or executive roles.

The term “glass ceiling” originated in the 1980s in discussions surrounding barriers to advancement faced by women in the workplace. It was popularised by feminist scholars and activists, particularly by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Glass Ceiling Commission in the early 1990s.

The term implies that while these individuals can see the top positions, they face systemic obstacles, biases, or discrimination that hinder their career progression beyond a certain level. Despite their qualifications, skills, and abilities, they may find it difficult to break through this barrier and reach the highest echelons of leadership within an organisation.

I have another name for this barrier that proves hard to get through for many women (particularly “fixer” brand women) gleaned from working with wannabe C-level executives in Australian companies – and that’s the permafrost layer.  What is this permafrost layer? A thick layer of upper middle management and lower senior or executive level management who aren’t going anywhere any time soon. Typically men, closer to retirement, who also frequently have stay at home wives, and they are hanging onto their senior level roles for as long as they can before retirement – i.e. thick frozen layer, that never thaws out, even in the summer – which blocks the pathway for progress for many talented female leaders.

Breaking through the glass ceiling (or permafrost layer) can be challenging, but there are several strategies that women (and other marginalised groups) can employ to navigate and overcome these barriers:

1. Skill and Expertise Development:

Continuously develop and enhance skills and expertise relevant to your desired career path. This includes both technical expertise, commercial acumen and soft skills such as leadership, communication, and negotiation. Consider what it might take to be a leader more broadly in your organisation, not just in your own narrow domain expertise that got you to where you are now. Identify the gaps and put a plan in place to fill those gaps. Become the leader you want to see.

2. Strategically Network:

Build and maintain strong professional networks both within and outside of your organisation. You need a plan to be seen by the right people, in the right place and at the right time. I write about this extensively and have even written a book on the topic Invisible to Invincible: a self-promotion handbook for executive women. In fact, I’ve landed two significant career jumps through attending networking events and being able to leverage the introductions made there so I love this approach. Networking can provide access to mentors, sponsors, and opportunities for career advancement.

3. Seek out Sponsors and Champions:

Find sponsors and champions, both within and outside your organisation, who can not just provide guidance, advice, and support in navigating career challenges and opportunities, but also are willing to open doors for you, endorse you and invite you in. This takes time, and you’ll need to build trust, and you’ll need to regularly update your sponsors and champions as to your progress as well. But it’s well worth it in the end. This is often the missing piece for women. We are more likely to seek mentors, but shy away from finding sponsors and champions. I cannot emphasise this enough. Men have had sponsors for years, it’s your turn now.

4. Advocate for Yourself:

Successful executives know how to speak up for themselves, assert their value, and actively seek out opportunities for advancement. As I paraphrase in my book mentioned above – “back yourself, sell yourself and articulate your special sauce!” This may involve stepping into the limelight more frequently, building a brand and positioning yourself towards your future desired role, expressing interest in leadership opportunities, volunteering for high-profile projects, and negotiating for promotions and salary increases on a regular basis – and well in advance of the regular pay or promotion cycle. In a nutshell, it will require you to get out of your own way, regularly. And you’ll thank me later.

5. Support Other Women:

There is some really interesting research that demonstrates that women are more successful in their careers if they have a cohort of likeminded, career minded women on a similar journey who they meet regularly with (on or offline).  This is great news especially for women wanting to break through the glass ceiling. Yes, there are fewer opportunities, but you will more likely get there if you show solidarity, rather than compete. So don’t shy away from advocating for gender diversity and supporting other women in their career advancement efforts. Building alliances and solidarity with other women can help create a supportive environment and amplify your collective voice.

Breaking through the glass ceiling will require persistence, resilience, and a willingness to challenge the status quo. By employing these strategies and actively working to overcome barriers, you can increase your chances of achieving career success and reaching your full career, leadership and earning potential. It’s not selfish either. Because when you raise the bar for your own career, you are raising the bar for women everywhere.

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What My Incredible Clients Have to Say…

Thank you so much Amanda. You have brought out the best of me and put it on a page.

Amanda helped me build my digital brand with a strategic approach that’s aligned to my long-term career goals. I learned to add value and richness to my network and customers, and I have a visibility strategy that is above the line and future-focused!

It’s a blast working with Amanda – I can feel the momentum growing – now a matter of me putting my foot on the pedal to get myself out there in full confidence!

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11 Point Executive Career Toolkit Checklist

To ensure you are never caught out, and are perfectly positioned
to put your best foot forward in your career, every time.

11 Point Executive Career
Toolkit Checklist

To ensure you are never caught out, and are perfectly positioned to put your best foot forward in your career, every time.

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