The He-Man Woman Haters Club

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The He-Man Woman Haters Club


Dear Michele,

How do I progress my career with a VP who has hired all younger males and has only one token female Director reporting to him? I work for the token female. I have a Masters degree and a couple certifications. All of his direct reports are currently trying to earn their degrees. It is so frustrating in this stagnant stage.

– Stuck Under the Glass Ceiling

Dear Glass,

I wish that every executive were an open, conscious leader who worked every day with the best interests of his or her people in mind. Unfortunately, that Utopia doesn’t exist. Even the most senior people are human and have their own flaws, weaknesses, biases and goofiness. Sorry ’bout that.

So what do you do? Sit down with Token Female Director and ask her, point blank (but kindly), “What do I have to do to get promoted here?”

Depending on her response, your path will be clear. Either the two of you lay out a career plan for you within the organization, or you know that the Boys’ Club and tokenism is never going to change. In the best case, the Director steps up to mentor and help you, and, even in the worst case, you have all the information you need to make a positive step for yourself and move out of the stagnation.

We know that you can only change what’s in your power, right? Which may mean a new job for you – one that features plenty of room for you to move up and through that glass ceiling.


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