The general impression is that women are becoming incrementally more successful in the workforce — and some of the news is good. Women are represented in the workforce in greater numbers than ever and holding a higher percentage of managerial and executive jobs than in the past. Here are 10 strategies women should consider for advancing their careers:
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1. Get as much education and training as you can
Education is by far women’s most powerful secret weapon and we have been preparing for a sneak attack for at least the last decade. In 1975 a majority of the college degrees awarded went to men. This was true at the associate bachelor’s master’s first professional and doctorate levels. By 2000 a majority of the associate bachelor’s and master’s degrees were awarded to women according to the Postsecondary Education Opportunity Research Letter.
We are heading into a world where the interests and values of women will gradually come to displace the interests and values of men. It will be a different kind of world as a result. The workplace may not have quite caught up but women are making serious inroads in the “knowledge is power” equation and our best hope to crash through that glass ceiling is to keep doing what we’re doing.
Consider informal ways of educating yourself through for example joining professional organizations, attending conferences and keeping up with trade publications in your field. When seeking a new job, look for companies that offer training programs and professional development opportunities. Make a point of asking in job interviews what kind of training is available. Your goal should be to develop a set of portable skills that are transferable and applicable to various career fields.