Businesswoman Susan McGalla has noted that while women make up 46.9% of the labor force in the U.S., only 14.6% of executives are women. She has three suggestions on how young women can improve their chances of advancing in the workplace.
1) Get Educated
Higher education results in more and greater opportunities for both men and women. McGalla advises young women to get a higher education and not let the cost intimidate them. Instead, young women should carefully plan how they’ll pay their tuitions and choose the scholarships and financial aid packages that would work best for them.
2) Find Support and Build Confidence
Getting a good education is only part of the equation. It may increase opportunities, but an unwelcoming and unsupportive work environment can make women lose confidence in their skills. McGalla mentions a study by Bain & Company that indicates that women’s aspirations drop by 60% over time because of management influence.
To counteract such negative influences, McGalla urges young women to build a supportive network of allies and advisors. Such supporters can encourage a young woman to do the kind of sterling work that could lead to advancement.
3) Concentrate In Your Work, Not the Glass Ceiling
McGalla claims that owes her success to concentrating on her work and not thinking about the prejudices against women. She never thought about her career in terms of breaking the glass ceiling or what she should be entitled to as a woman. She admits that sexism still exists, but advises young women to do good work and avoid acting in stereotypical ways.
Susan McGalla is the founder of P3 Executive Consulting, LLC, which she established on 2013. She is also a consultant on branding, marketing, operational efficiencies, and talent management. She has spoken about how women may advance in business in such venues as the Carnegie Mellon University Conference for CEOs and the Women and Girl’s Foundation of Pittsburgh.