Women: How to Shatter the Glass Ceiling

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Have you unsuccessfully tried to move up in your career? Do you feel that the men in your company get promoted and you’re left behind? If this sounds like you, have you considered a nontraditional career? Contemplate a career where less than 25% of the workforce of a specific occupation is comprised of women.

What Jobs are Nontraditional?

Jobs that are nontraditional for women include: architect, carpenter, chemist, taxi driver, and President of the United States. There are over 100 occupations that are considered nontraditional. Just look around, you can probably determine by yourself which jobs are nontraditional.

Why Women Don’t Consider

Stereotypes still exist as to what is considered “women’s work. ” These stereotypes are ingrained in our society and are passed along from our parents and continue with our school teachers, and guidance counselors. Little girls rarely get gifts such as a truck, Lincoln logs, or a toy chemist set. Teachers and guidance counselors tend to steer girls into “pink collar” classes and jobs. With little guidance and exposure to ALL of our career options, it’s a wonder there are any women in nontraditional careers.

Higher Wages & Higher Need

Many nontraditional jobs pay 20-30% more (and many others higher) than traditional jobs and have better benefits and career advancement opportunities. In many trades, 45-70% of workers 45 and older are expected to leave their occupation by 2008, according to the U. S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. These positions will need to be filled. If you’re interested in working as a carpenter or welder, take a look at a job in the trades.

What Color is Your Parachute?

Money is often not the only determining factor in finding a satisfying career. A job where you can use your skills and interests is most likely a top priority too. Take a look at your skills and interests; do any of the nontraditional careers fit the bill?


Women that enter nontraditional occupations often face challenges. The first challenge is usually acceptance. Being a trailblazer isn’t always easy. You stick out. You don’t fit in. Once your male co-workers can see you’re serious about your work and that you can do a good job, most will accept you.

Joan Runnheim, M. S. , founder of Pathways Career Success Strategies [http://www.pathwayscareer.com]in Hudson, WI, is a career consultant who helps individuals reach their career goals by developing an effective career development plan or job search strategy.

As a career advisor for Monster.com, [http://community.monster.com/Forums/ShowForum.aspx?ForumID=91]. ] Joan has been able to reach out to millions of people with her career-related articles and advice.

Subscribe to our free newsletter at [http://www.pathwayscareer.com].


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