Is There Really A Glass Ceiling For Women Or Is It In Our Minds?

The glass ceiling is a barrier that stops people especially women from progressing after a certain level in their career.

Most times this barrier is invisible but is perceived by the action and inaction of those people in a position to promote women to the next level.

Last week was international women’s day and I had the pleasure of speaking to and interacting with amazing women from different organizations.

And one major topic kept coming up – the glass ceiling.

Nkeoma DND Agu speaking on the “glass ceiling”

But, now am asking is there really a glass ceiling or is it in our mindset or are we the ones creating it consciously or unconsciously by the things we do or don’t do?

Let’s take a moment to consider a glass door.

Most glass doors seem invisible and if there is no sign, you may end up bashing against it, realize it’s there then step back and then push or pull to get inside.

On some other doors, there’s a sign of push or pull to inform you on how to open the door and get yourself inside.

What that means is that you can get inside once you get the instruction and you’re ready to do what it says. Not following the instruction means you’ll be stuck outside.

That’s one of the things that happen in the workplace. If you don’t know what is required to get promoted, you will be permanently locked out of juicy positions or if you know what is needed and you are not willing to take the require action you will also be locked outside.

If as a woman you feel stuck at a particular position in your workplace and you feel, you should be in a higher position and you are willing to do what it takes to get over that barrier here’s what to do.

For you to get through any glass ceiling (barrier) there are 3 steps you have to take:

  1. Look at the organization and check where a glass ceiling exist
  2. Check if there are women that have crossed or broken that glass ceiling
  3. Check if those women were able to thrive in their new position
  4. Find out what those women did differently
  5. Ask yourself if you’re willing to do what it takes to get there.

If you look and there are women that have broken that ceiling; that is something. It is telling you that it’s something that can be done.

  • Most times getting to that position requires a lot of work, commitment and sometimes sacrifices that most women are not willing to make.

“Promotion in the work place normally comes with transfer and most women detest transfer. They prefer to stay with their families. So, they will stay in the low position and not make progress rather than make progress and be transferred”.

  • For others the qualification and experience needed for the next level is something they don’t have.
  • While for some others not getting certain academic qualification at a certain age stops them from progressing pass a certain level.

All these are glass ceilings.

But it is not placed by the society some of them are actually placed by you.

Nkeoma DND Agu—“Balance for Better”


You want to progress in the work place? That is great but how many times have you used your money to pay for the training and experience you need to be promoted?

If you are waiting for the company, you should know that the company trains you to acquire the skill they need for the company to run efficiently, you are not trained in the skills you need for your own benefit.

Have you requested for or thought about mentorship from those women that broke the glass ceiling you are now looking at?

Most men have clarity about what they want at an early stage because a lot depends on them. They are made aware of their responsibility on time and so they start striving to get ahead by fair or foul means.

“But for most women, especially in Nigeria, once you get your admission into the university, the next thing is marriage and then kids”.

As the kids come, so does your responsibility towards your husband, kids, home, your business or career. And for most women, the constant push and pull that threatens to tear them apart is something they can’t cope with.

So, they give in and decide to stay at the service level instead of aspiring to the management level.

Most women are even stopped from working by their spouse.

That’s why I love this year’s theme of “Balance for Better”, because that’s what I’ve been coaching women on for the past 5 years.

Because, before balance, there has to be clarity on what you want, the strategy best suited for it, the tools you need, the most efficient way to implement your plan so that there will be balance in your life.

Because, when you don’t check all these things and just jump into any career, it may affect other aspects of your life negatively.

“In other words breaking the glass ceiling may break you if you don’t count the cost and build balance into your life”.

The good thing is that any glass ceiling can be broken, women everywhere are shattering glass ceiling and becoming role models.

But most of them paid a big price with either their important relationships or their health; you don’t have to sacrifice anything. You can have the best of both worlds if you plan your life accordingly.

And that’s what I help women do in the Personal Growth /Wellness workshop – Redefine you

The PGR is a one day coaching for women where you will learn how to build a balanced, healthy and purposeful life so you can excel in life without sacrificing your health, life goals or relationship.

You will get clarity on what you really want, and learn the strategy you need to get it. You will learn how to build the life you want in a balanced way so you don’t sacrifice the things you love for your goals.

To register for the next event in June, 2020. Send a mail to join the waitlist or pay here

Costs N10,000 (TEN thousand Naira only) 

It’s time to live the live you want …and thrive fully….not broken.

I will love to hear from you. Have you ever experienced a glass ceiling? How did you use that experience? Do leave a comment.




Is There Really A Glass Ceiling For Women Or Is It In Our Minds?

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