Breaking the glass ceiling: A guide for women leaders

Welldone Ndlovu, Online Reporter

WOMEN have come a long way since the days when the workplace was a man’s world, but there is still much progress to be made.

Even in this day and age, women face unique challenges when it comes to advancing their careers. In many industries, the glass ceiling is still firmly in place, blocking women from reaching the upper echelons of power. The book Women; Breaking the Glass Ceiling is a call to action for women everywhere who are ready to break through that glass ceiling and take their place at the top.

The book is a compelling, much-needed exploration of the challenges that women face in reaching the upper levels of leadership. With diverse voices (professors) from across Africa and the United States, this 328-page book is a comprehensive and inspiring look at the roadblocks that women face and the pathways to achieving greater representation in positions of power.

It was published under PUBLISH’D AFRIKA, a publishing imprint based in South Africa co-founded by Zimbabwean-born author, Sukoluhle Nontokozo Mdlongwa.

Mdlongwa said the book is a must-read for every woman with an ambition to climb the corporate ladder or any other sphere known to be male-dominated.

“The authors look into the glass ceiling at institutions of higher learning, the business world, and industries and how the glass ceiling affects widows in the African cultural setting,” she said.

 “The book also covers colonial influence, White domination and power structures in academia, as well as gender and age biases in the workplace, culture and widows.”

Professor Maehabo Magano, a full professor in the Department of Psychology of Education at the University of South Africa (UNISA), said there are many critical issues regarding the lack of equity and parity for women of colour in the workplace.

 These include unequal representation, lack of sociocultural understanding, embedded institutional racism, and insufficient collaboration and relationship building.

“In many societies around the world, women also face greater societal scrutiny as well as unequal treatment in the workplace, at home and in relationships,” she said.

 “In this volume, titled Women Breaking the Glass Ceiling, we explore various ways in which women draw on their individual resourcefulness, traditional values, and support of female and male allies to navigate the ways and means of breaking the proverbial glass ceiling.”

Lastly, according to Professor Dolapo Adeniji, of Adelphi University in the United States, most women work very hard to equip themselves academically and make sound contributions to their practice and broader community. Some of their contributions are even cited and implemented in various fields and disciplines to make a difference globally.

“Yet, despite their sound and valuable academic contributions, very few women ascend the academic ladder to reach managerial leadership at the apex of institutions of higher learning,” she said.


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