A Transparent Barrier

Men in Leadership, Women in Leadership,
Champion You

By Linda Savanauskas
April 16, 2015

Men and women are familiar with the term the ‘glass-ceiling’. It was coined in the early’70s as a descriptor as a transparent barrier holding women back. I think the term served a purpose then for women. It still is part of that barrier for women and men today. When we look at the five generations in the workforce today, from the traditionalists to the millennials we all have lots to learn when it comes to being diverse and inclusive in our work together.

Although little seems to have changed, we need to define a new term for the glass-ceiling as historically there have been minor changes, yet little movement. Some of which is the purpose for the Champion You for men program. Men and women think differently, and we need to assist men in their sponsorship of women and others regardless of position, politics, and race. Men need to break some glass to make this happen. Or another way to look at it, who is the ‘keeper of the glass’? Would it be better if it were consider open glass ceiling versus closed glass ceiling?

We need men to become the champions of men and women and promotion for upward mobility.

Glass Ceiling Open

Men support women. Women support men. We need to throw out the idea that men are strategic and women are tactical in supporting roles, and ditto the message for women supporting other women.

A credit to when the term ‘glass ceiling’ was defined, and by whom. 

First introduced in 1979. The term glass ceiling was a discussion on policy and promotion versus actionable opportunities for women promotions at HP. The term was coined by two HR professionals, Katherine Lawrence and Maryanne Schreiber. ~Wikipedia

iStock_000000806622_glass ceilingGlass Open -No Ceiling

One of the pioneers, a woman who truly was a lightning rod set up the divisive nature of women for political gains which she based on fear techniques that has held strong since 1977. Why, because she encouraged women (and men) politically to scourge their opponents for their weakness, versus capitalizing on their strengths. Instead the mentality of killing our perceived competition was the objective. Rather than finding the opposing strengths and capitalizing on those strengths to make a stronger union in working together to accomplish a common goal.

In the Men in Leadership, Champion You workshop. We will take a look at the real issues that are at the core of what prevents men and women to accelerate into those leadership roles. What is holding men back? What is holding women back? What skills and behaviors can men learn to change the outcome of this barrier for themselves? We have seen both men and women capitalize and self-promote their own agenda. Historically, the outcome has not been favorable yet divisive for both genders.

Let’s look at skill set differences where men shine and where they can learn from women. Let’s look at behavioral differences, communication differences and unaware behaviors that are preventing men from lending their support. We will look at how men with their support can help women colleagues in the workplace rise to their levels of leadership that men assume. Yes! It appears counter-intuitive. Yes as we serve others in leadership we gain more support in meeting our own personal and professional goals and objectives.



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About Linda Savanauskas

An accomplished talent management professional with experience in curriculum design, development of learning strategies, and professional skills development training programs for the workplace. Collaboration in training programs includes small and medium size businesses (SMB) to larger organizations from Raleigh to Charlotte, North Carolina. Virtual instructor led training can be offered to any location.