Women sound off about the glass ceiling
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But as one panelist says: "We can see through it."
Here are some of their comments.
Is there a glass ceiling?
Page: One of the things that intimidates women a lot about the automobile industry is that networking is so important. And a lot of men have connections to other men in upper management positions that maybe women haven't established yet. Some people might see that as a glass ceiling.
And women have to sometimes balance more often their family and their work life. They might see that as they can't penetrate up to that upper management level. I don't think it is impossible. There are many females taking hold of top management positions, and we need to use them as motivators and mentors to younger women coming into the field.
I definitely see the idea of a glass ceiling. But one thing I always think about the glass ceiling is that we can see through it. We can see the top of it, and there is going to be a way to get there. It is just going to take time.
Crawford: It is not just within the auto industry. It is within all industries. It is just something that exists, and it is unfortunate - but it is changing.
Cameron: The key phrase - and this is for all companies - is: It's who you know.
There might be a glass ceiling. But I don't want us to use that as an excuse about why we can't get to the top. We need to be out on the golf courses and do the things that men do to meet with executives. The way they get to the top is by talking to people, networking, seeing how to get to that position. They do these types of things, and because we are women, maybe we shy away from that. I feel we need to be more involved.
Howard: Not just golf outings and networking but also taking classes within your corporation. (The company I worked at) during the past summer offered various courses you could take to improve your skills.
Thrasher: Things worth having are not easily obtained always. A lot of times there are trade-offs associated with moving up. That is not just gender-specific. Men have to make trade-offs as well.
You may want to have the executive-level position. But you may not be able to have all the free time that you want. Or you may not be able to devote as much time to your family as you want. But those are the decisions and the choices that you make when you decide what it is you want out of life.