Breaking the Glass Ceiling – Lessons from 5 Leading Inspirational Ladies

While we as a global community, have made strides in the past century in various fields, when it comes to gender equality and women’s rights, we’re sadly still a bit slow in catching up with the obvious conclusion – that we need both, soon.

Though we’re not practicing the rules of the 18th century where the other sex couldn’t even have their basic rights, the world is still quite harsh in implementing and allowing the most logical of laws. Women are still paid less than men, they’re forced to pay extra tax on necessary care items as if they were luxury items, and even though they’re more likely to graduate, they still have a lesser chance of getting hired and getting paid their true worth.

Yet, even with so many exhausting challenges, there’s still a large female population, working their heads off to get to the top and break through that glass ceiling that’s been unceremoniously placed for them. So to inspire you on your quest to being your better self, here are three quotes from women in power!

"True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection."
 Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook

Leaders should do more to connect with the people around them, rather than strive for the unattainable. Perhaps this is another take on being “it’s better to be loved than feared”. If you maintain a certain authenticity, you’ll have more people depending on you, because they’ll know they have nothing dubious to fear.

"What I have learned is that people become motivated when you guide them to the source of their own power and when you make heroes out of employees who personify what you want to see in the organization."
 Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop

“Inspire others to be their best self”, that is what Ms. Roddick explains. As future leaders, we must not only have confidence in our own abilities, we must inspire others to challenge themselves as well. Especially in a professional environment, being someone’s cheerleader or support will allow them to be more daring in their actions, and that may help your business achieve more.

"Just because you are CEO, don’t think you have landed. You must continually increase your learning, the way you think, and the way you approach the organization."
Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo

In other words, keep training yourself. Every field of study is evolving, and as such, we have to aware of any upgrades that may occur. We must keep learning and evolving with time and implement any changes that could work in our favor. We must be fearless.

Equip Yourself!
Follow what they preach! Sign up for workshops hosted by organizations such as Youth with a Future. Participate in urban youth leadership programs and develop your skills. Emulate these leading ladies, and follow their advice so you too can break through the barriers and rise to the top!

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