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Recommendations to women managers

Many women who’ve made very successful careers admit that the conditions most of them have to work in do not allow them to be efficient and optimistic. Lack of confidence further increased by upbringing and expectations of family and the immediate circle – i.e. that women should realise their potential first of all as mothers and housewives and only then as a company executives – plays a major role in this process. The need to break - day in and day out – the stereotypes about women being clumsy and unbalanced managers who cannot be trusted, doesn’t add any enthusiasm either. The surveyed top managers recommended to counter that pressure by appealing to partners’ and subordinates’ logic and emotions, on all fronts.

How to break the glass ceiling

At the quantitative survey stage, the respondents more often opted for “emotional” recommendations, such as “trust yourself” (26%), “don’t be afraid of anything” (14%). “Rational” advice was offered less frequently: “be logical and follow your principles” (7%), “work on your problems, get training” (4%).

Unlike the participants of the quantitative stage of the study, respondents to the in-depth interviews more often gave advice which boiled down to “take action”. Not just be confident, logical and concentrated but take actual steps to get to where you want to be.

“It’s always strange to hear complaints like Oh, that glass ceiling! Well, OK, there’s a glass ceiling where you work but it’s a company with a famous name, you’ve got good education – so stop hitting that glass ceiling, leave and go somewhere where there isn’t any. When women start actually doing this and companies realise they’re losing staff, the situation will begin to change. I think a kind of chain reaction is bound to happen. We just shouldn’t sit and wait but do something. Or start your own business. There certainly won’t be any glass ceilings there – do what you like. That sort of putting the blame on the society always makes me confused” (woman, general director of the Russian division of a large multinational corporation, manufacturing).