Working Girl: Climbing the Ladder
As Tess McGill, played by Melanie Griffith, learned in the movie Working Girl, climbing the corporate ladder isn’t easy when there are systematic barriers in your way. Although not legal, hiring and promotion processes may favor men, and lack of support and role models often deter women from seeking these positions in the first place. Polls show that Americans find women leaders indistinguishable from men in traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation and that they excel in areas such as compassion and organization. Still, according to Fortune.com, in 2016 women occupied only 21 percent of Fortune 500 board seats and held 4.2 percent of CEO positions. In fact, there are 24 Fortune 500 companies that have zero female directors altogether. While Tess chooses to impersonate a senior executive to get ahead, there are other ways to shatter glass ceilings. Find a mentor, whether it’s someone you know or a prominent woman you’d like to emulate. Also, network, especially with other women. And lastly, don’t forget to ask for what you want. If you can’t get the promotion you’re seeking, don’t be afraid to accept a position elsewhere where there’s more room for advancement.