Marney Reid – Founder, Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling
This is a post that I’ve been kicking around in the back of my head for a while. The definition of the Glass Ceiling as it applies to us women is: “An invisible upper limit in corporations and other organizations, above which it is difficult or impossible for women to rise in the ranks. It’s glass because it’s not usually a visible barrier, and a woman may not be aware of its existence until she “hits” the barrier. In other words, it’s not an explicit practice. The term was popularized in the 1980s.”
I don’t really like such a standard definition of the goals we should set for ourselves, much in the same way that I don’t agree with “standardized testing.” I think anytime one puts a fixed definition of “what defines intelligence” or “what defines success” we end up setting ourselves up for failure.
Basically, the standardized definition of a woman who makes it through the Glass Ceiling is a lady who has gotten into the C-suite or President role at a large corporate entity. This ensures that, as we see more and more women trending towards entrepreneurship as a career route, that we see a continued slow progression towards the percentage of women who hold these corporate titles. But what about the women who hold titles in start-up companies, who help gain market share and ensure a successful IPO or company purchase? What kind of designation do we give them? Do we say a woman who becomes a Physician but hasn’t gotten a section Chief title, still has NOT shattered through the Glass Ceiling?
Two of my close girl friends are surgeons, one is doing a fellowship for Skull Base Neurosurgery and another is doing a Transplant fellowship. Can someone honestly tell me that a female Neurosurgeon or Transplant surgeon has NOT shattered through the Glass Ceiling? Because if you ask me, they have taken a sledgehammer and plowed through it…and continue to race higher.
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How about women who started what was a side hobby, or small stay at home business and turned it into a very good living for themselves and/or their families. Where in the equation do those ladies fit? Part of the reason I titled this brand “Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling” is that I feel I have, and continue to shatter through MY version of the Glass Ceiling.
Five years ago I was hired directly into surgical device sales, I had NO medical background, I went straight into the operating room and had to learn a multitude of surgical cases that my product was applicable for. I worked for a small company that the San Diego health systems had never heard of, selling a product that hardly anyone knew about in San Diego, in a healthcare environment with multiple “value analysis committees” that are NOT easy to pass through. Outside my mentor and boss at the time, my Father, and a couple of my best friends, I don’t think anyone expected me to survive and gain any traction, let alone make President’s Club my second full year into it. I defined my OWN VERSION of the Glass Ceiling (which was to make President’s Club), and I shattered that sucker.
Flash forward five years and I’m ready for a new challenge. I love writing and wanted to take the hard lessons I had to learn along the way of navigating, and being reasonably successful in the Alpha Male Game, and share them with other ladies as well as create an open forum to learn from the women who have paved the way for my generation. For those of you who came before my generation, I salute you for your fortitude and sacrifices.
So ladies, if YOU are not a “corporate entity” type, then find your OWN version of the Glass Ceiling. Focus on that and once you achieve your first goal, pick another, and another. Instead of waiting for the standard version of the Glass Ceiling to be broken, let’s create new ceilings, and let’s go take them down one by one.