How to break the glass ceiling
Kavita grew up in a family where she had to fight for everything. Her family was very conservative, to say the least. She had fight to go to school. Fight to get college education and finally fight to go to work. In her own right, she grew up to be a strong confident woman who was good at most things she put her mind to do.
Kavita was selected to join a reputed organization in the final year of her graduation as part of the campus placement program. Her offer letter was comparable with the boys who were selected to join the same firm. Finally, she was able to stand next to a man and call herself an equal in all terms. Her joy knew no bounds.
Kavita started work and enjoyed the newly gained independence from the money she earned. Initially everything seemed fine, and then she started observing the subtle differences. Rahul and Kavita joined the same project. Kavita was quick in her understanding the nuances of the project and was able to solve issues quickly. While she received praise for her work, it was her male colleagues who got the opportunity to go onsite. She was left holding the appreciation certificate, while Rahul collected global work experience.
She also noticed differences when freshers joined the team. Initially, the fresher’s were sent to different teams to work along with experienced team members. However, a month later experienced folks from her team were transferred to Anthony’s team and in exchange she received the freshers as part of her team. Kavita was appreciated her for her patience and her natural ability to nurture the newbies and teach them the ropes and in passing it was mentioned how Anthony was managing a very high profile project and that it was important that he had more experienced members in his team.
Kavita was surprised to hear this since it was the same project that she was handling till she was asked to hand it over to Anthony! Then came the time for promotion – she was told she did not have the necessary global experience and nor did she have experience in managing critical projects!
For the first time in her life, Kavita felt like giving up. She did not know what she had done wrong. According to her she did everything that her manager asked her to do and expected her manager to help her get the promotion!
What should Kavita have done differently? What would your advice to her be?
Here are my suggestions:
- Kavita should have set up time with her manager to discuss her career aspirations
- Kavita should have reached out to different people to understand from them the unwritten rules of the organization
- Kavita should have reached out to HR to understand what are the key requirements to be considered for promotion
What out this space to see what the manager should have done!