Recommended: Sticky Floors

it's not a glass ceiling it's a sticky floor Language is powerful and in this book title each describe the effect of women not reaching their leadership potential. Shambaugh argues that what really holds women back is right below their own feet — the sticky floor.

These sticky floors are self-limiting beliefs, assumptions, and behaviours that serve to limit a woman’s ability to achieve her  career goals and bring her greatest gifts and value to her teams and organisation.

Glass Ceiling or Glass Womb?

I love Sheryl Sandberg. I love that someone like her is out there inspiring young women to believe that the world is at their feet. That there is nothing standing in their way except fear. Challenging them to seek out opportunities for themselves. Teaching them that there is no #glass ceiling and that if they are ballsy, confident and competent they will achieve great things.

While acceding that Sheryl Sandberg had done great things in raising awareness, continuing the cause and encouraging women to self-reflect, the author of this article raises the challenge of the enforced career break as being a major obstacle to career progression from which women may never fully recover.

In fact, she goes further and argues that paid parental leave is a disservice to women. Many might say that is heresy and women have fought long and hard to have time out from their career to birth and raise children without losing their jobs as a result of such a decision. By teh same toke, she has some compelling figures to back her claim.

I don’t for a minute think anyone would argue that a woman should lose her job due to maternoty yet how uch of a negative impact does a career break have? Do those who take a career break (eg long service leave) to study for a higher qualification suffer similarly?

This article raises an interesting topic that deserves more focus.

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Agricultural Science in Africa and Women

They are selected because they are—or could be—as good as agricultural scientists anywhere. They are groomed in leadership, and conduct research into problems facing their individual countries. They still face an enemy—the perception that #african women agricultural scientists can’t lead in innovation. Even as these experts continue to struggle for opportunities to advance their careers, they know that they are capable of bursting age-old stereotypes.”


Shaping opinions on the innovative capacities women can bring to #agriculture is enhanced and accelerated by public programs like this which support and demonstrate  female scientists capabilities.


Africa displays needed leadership in this area. Kudos.


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Gender Equity Bill: South Africa

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (Bill) has been passed by the National Assembly and is now awaiting approval by the National Council of Provinces.

The implications of the Bill, if passed, is that it will require employers’ decision making bodies to be comprised of a minimum of 50% female representation. While employers may want to pre-emptively ready themselves for this possible new #legislation, it may be in vain, even if the Bill is promulgated.

If the Bill is enacted, not all of its provisions will apply to every employer.

In order to effect change, legislation is often necessary to impart a sense of necessity.

In this case, although it looks like #south africa‘s Gender Equity Bill will become law, it appears to be more of an education process than a compliance one. There are many ‘out’ clauses for employers making it something of a toothless tiger.

However it sets the tone for the direction organisations need to take and will shape societal expectations.

It will be interesting to watch over the next few years to see what impact this law has, if any. If Australian experience is any guide, this approach will yield slow results.

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Glass Ceilings in Advertising

Women are well represented in the advertising industry – I should know, I worked in that space for a number of years as a Copywriter.  And there are many powerful women within their own domains. But at the senior levels there is still a challenge in women breaking through the glass ceiling.

The Communications Council has taken up the challenge of developing a program to apply some heat to redress the gender imbalance at the executive level.

Like a some other industries, women are in need of encouragement and positive empowerment to put their hand up for managerial roles.

Only 26 per cent of management roles in the industry are filled by women, according to recent research. Beyond that level, there is a dearth of female representation at senior management, executive and Board level in agencies.

Well done Margaret Zabel, the new CEO of the Communications Council, for having the drive and tenacity to establish the diversity committee with a charter to address gender inequity at management levels.

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