Jottings By An Employer's Lawyer

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Nice Turn of the Phrase - Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor

That is the clever title of an interesting article in the Washington Business Journal, Glass ceiling or sticky floor? The real reason women don't make it. The author, Rebecca Shambaugh a leadership and organizational development consultant, suggests that sometimes it is barriers women themselves create that keep them from moving up in the business world. She intends to expound on some of those in continuing columns, but in the first wonders why women who are so good at relationships, don't work harder at building strategic relationships.

A contrarian viewpoint to be sure, but perhaps not to be totally discounted.

A hat tip to Diane Danielson at the HR Blog for the pointer.

Thanks for the "hat tip!" Love to spotlight different ideas (and great turns of phrases). I know Rebecca personally and she raises some good (and sometimes contrarian) points. The following was an additional "sticky floor" issue I pointed out to her in a recent email.

"I did want to add one more sticky floor issue - something I've personally run up against (twice) -- which is the inability for single mothers to relocate for a better job, without having to give up custody of their children. The courts are swinging dramatically in favor of father's rights (which I think is not a bad thing if the father really is involved in the child's life), but with the globalization of companies, many women have had to turn down major promotions for fear of losing custody of their kids (sort of a modern-day Sophie's Choice).
Even if they did win the right to relocate, the legal battle can take up to a year (and cost over $60,000), which deters many women from fighting it. This is going to continue to affect women's ability to take promotions and continue to maintain the gender gap.

I don't have a solution for it and the Father's Rights groups are much more organized and well-funded than women's groups - so I think this is one sticky floor issue that will remain for women with children."
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