Came across this article on social media today. I think it could quite possibly be the first step towards breaking the ‘glass ceiling’.
The article begins with a chart that effectively illustrates an ascending proportion of female students achieving high grades, compared to a sporadic proportion of male students. The author continues to explore why women seem to steer away from tertiary subjects that tend to lead towards the most profitable professions and why men are less likely to get deterred by low(er) grades.
The bottom line is that women must change myopic attitudes about the significance of grades. I know that I have been guilty of this attitude, and being in the professional world – absent of alphabetic or numeric results – has allowed me to focus on practical results.
“Women, admirably, want to excel — and usually do, academically. We earn, on average, higher grades than men in almost every subject. But if women want to compete with the big boys, in the disciplines and professions where men continue to dominate, we need to overcome our B-phobia.”
The comments at the end of the article are also insightful – especially in regards to the campaign to ban the word “bossy” in primary schools. “Little girls are told to “stop being bossy” as a way of saying “stop being mean,” but little boys hear that command less often. The concern isn’t that some 30 something will change her course trajectory because someone calls her bossy, but a little girl may be less inclined to assume leadership roles, because being the boss has been associated with being mean.”
As I said at the start of this post, I think this could be the first step towards breaking the “glass ceiling”. It will be the first step of many. Another article I read last year springs to mind. I can’t recall it’s source but it was something along the lines of Caution: Women Competing at Work. After we gather the courage to stick it out in traditionally male-dominant professions, we must survive “the other woman” on the same battlefield. While men have the “bro-code” and “gentlemen’s club” women are yet to establish an equivalent. In fact, there lies the opposite – women see other women as threats. In order to completely shatter the double glazed ceiling women need to turn to each other more as comrades and less as adversaries.
C’mon girls, let’s show these boys what we’ve got!