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Women have been battling to break through the workplace’s glass ceiling for decades, but despite progress made in achieving equality, there is still an abundance of challenges that stand between them and success. From gender bias to a shortage of female representation in leadership roles – these difficulties can be difficult obstacles on their road to professional growth.

In this blog post, you will find information about the obstacles that women commonly encounter in their pursuit of success in the corporate world. Additionally, there are suggested strategies to aid women along their journey. Furthermore, this post also explores certain aspects that organisations can improve to cultivate a culture that advocates for gender equality and fairness.

Challenges faced by women in the workplace:

  1. Gender Bias: Despite the tremendous strides made in the pursuit of gender equity, women still confront an uphill battle when it comes to bias and stereotypes. These prejudices can limit opportunities for female professionals across every sector – from being overlooked for advancement due to an assumed lack of competence or capability compared with male colleagues, to facing cultural roadblocks towards reaching their career ambitions.
  2. Glass Ceiling: Women are still struggling to shatter the glass ceiling, a murky phenomenon that often keeps talented female leaders from ascending their career ladder. It’s an invisible force of unfairness and inequality in which qualified women face steep challenges when it comes to attaining top leadership positions traditionally dominated by men – no matter how much experience they have.
  3. Work-Life Balance: Juggling a career and family life can be tricky for all of us. Yet, it’s no secret that in many households’ women take on most of the responsibilities within their home – that could impede their ability to succeed professionally or even take on additional tasks in their job roles.
  4. Lack of Representation: Women continue to be underserved in many industries and underrepresented as leaders. This results in limited networking, mentorship opportunities, and potentially fewer role models for women entering these fields – making professional growth a greater challenge than it needs to be.

Handy tips for success:

  1. Build a Network: Connections are key to career growth. Women should actively build a robust support system by engaging mentors, advocates and sponsors who can help guide their success journey.
  2. Seek Out Training and Development Opportunities: To stay ahead of the curve and foster their career growth, women should take advantage of training and development opportunities to sharpen their skillset. These investments can arm them with the skills and knowledge they need to not only stay competitive but also be prepared for positions up the ladder.
  3. Speak Up: Women shouldn’t shy away from advocating for themselves in the workplace. To advance their career, they should have passion and conviction when communicating what they want – be it a promotion or a pay increase. Take charge of your future by confidently asking for opportunities.
  4. Create Work-Life Balance: Today’s women juggle an ever-growing list of responsibilities – from their career to home and family. To ensure success in all areas of life, it is essential for them to prioritise creating a satisfactory work-life balance. This could involve setting boundaries, delegating tasks, or finding more flexible job arrangements – take control and make sure you get the most out of your time.
  5. Challenge Gender Bias: Women have the power to challenge gender bias and create lasting change. It can be as simple as speaking up against a sexist comment or standing up for equal pay, all the way to pushing for more women in top positions of leadership – every little step counts towards progress.

Role of businesses in ensuring gender equality

  • Promote diversity and inclusion: Companies should make an effort to create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture that values all employees regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics. For example, Unilever set a goal of achieving gender balance across its management team by 2020 and succeeded.
  • Offer flexible work arrangements: Offering flexible work arrangements such as remote work or flex-time can help women balance their professional and personal responsibilities more effectively. For example, Deloitte and Northreach offers a range of flexible working options to its employees.
  • Provide equal pay: Companies should ensure that all employees receive equal pay for equal work regardless of their gender. For instance, Salesforce recently conducted an audit to ensure that they were paying male and female employees equally for the same job.
  • Encourage mentoring and leadership development programs: Providing mentoring and leadership development programs can help women advance in their careers and break through the glass ceiling. For example, Ernst & Young offers a program called “Women Athletes Business Network” which connects female athletes with EY professionals who provide guidance on career development.
  • Implement policies against discrimination and harassment: Companies should have clear policies in place to prevent discrimination and harassment based on gender or any other personal characteristic.


Women in the workplace face unique challenges, but those barriers can be broken and successes achieved with focused effort. Building a strong network of colleagues, pursuing professional development opportunities, advocating for oneself, and creating a balance between work and life – are just some strategies that empower women to reach their highest potential. As more help blaze trails today, future generations will build on this progress as they strive toward equality at work.

While individual efforts are important, it is undeniable that organisations play a significant role in promoting gender equality in the workplace. It is their responsibility to intentionally cultivate an environment that supports and advances gender equality. Together, we can overcome barriers and empower each other to create a brighter future for all.

We can assist in ensuring that your business implements an unbiased hiring process and provide guidance on fostering a diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) environment in the workplace. Let’s have a conversation about your specific needs and explore how we can be of assistance. Get in touch.