Barriers to increasing the presence of women in the workplace

barriers women in the workplace

Increasing the representation of women in the workplace, is something that a lot of good companies are trying to do.

As we have seen from the figures released by Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo, some progress has been made in this area. 70% of Google’s U.S. employees are men, while the figure is 61% for LinkedIn and 62% for Yahoo.

However, there is still room for improvement. Speaking at a recent event, Lynda Gratton (Professor of Management Practice in Organisational Behaviour, London Business School), highlighted four persistent stereotypes that remain barriers to women in the workplace, especially those seeking leadership positions:

  1. Women as mothers: Balancing work and family is harder for women, since they often bear more responsibility for domestic matters. Mothers, whether or not they take career breaks, need more support from companies and better flexi-work arrangements.
  2. Women as poor career navigators: Studies have shown that women don’t negotiate much after the age of 35. This means that they lose out in areas such as compensation, promotions and career moves. Organisations can help by having better training, mentoring and other guidance available for women to navigate their careers well.
  3. Women as a minority: A minority of any sort, is not as well-off when compared to the majority. According to Professor Gratton 33% is the breaking point after which negative stereotypes and imbalances can be overcome.
  4. Women as poor networkers: Women tend to network with their peers, while men network upwards. Providing access and opportunities for women to interact with leaders in organisations can be useful here.

Organisation trying to promote equality and diversity frequently address one or two of these barriers. But all four are important and need to be considered for better progress to me made.

Should You Take a Low Paying Job While Waiting for the Job You Really Want?


“Do I take the low paying job today, or hold out for the higher paying job that I want?” 

The old saying that “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” is certainly an odd one. But at the core of this saying is the idea that the resources you have at your disposal in the here and now are of greater value than theoretical resources that may or may not come your way later.  This old adage holds much truth and should apply, at least to some degree, in your thought processes where finding a job is concerned.

 Employed Candidates are More Attractive

There are some real practical issues that need to be addressed on this topic.  For example, according to statistics, it is also generally easier to find a new job with a better salary once you are already employed.  Employers gravitate towards the resumes of individuals who already have jobs.

In one study by Infinity Consulting Solutions, 417 job hunters were surveyed and 59% agreed that employed individuals were given preferential treatment. A likely reason behind this phenomenon is that employers figure that if you were a truly valuable commodity, you would already have a job.

Of course, this idea is inaccurate, but it will likely continue to persist for the foreseeable future.  As a result, if you are unemployed, you might want to take the job that you are offered so that you can more easily move on to work with a different company in the future.

Assess Your Financial Situation

Take a look at your family’s needs for the near future and also the long-term. If you are in dire financial straits and need immediate employment, then you should likely take the job that is being offered to you.  On the other hand, if you are fairly certain that other offers truly are around the corner and you aren’t having financial issues, then waiting may make sense.

Now as for the contrary view, it should be pointed out that if you jump at the first job you are offered, you could very easily be selling yourself short.  If you are in a downward economic cycle where jobs are scarce, then jumping on that first job offer makes a lot more sense than it would if you are in a booming economy.  Make sure that you investigate the appropriate salary for your position and skill level.  It goes without saying that you don’t want to be holding out for a salary that virtually no one is getting in your given field.

Is there Room for Advancement?

Another key question is whether or not the job you are being offered is a “dead end job” or has room for advancement.  Many people end up with fantastic jobs that they like with excellent pay, but these jobs didn’t start out that way.  On occasion, a low paying job may be the better long-term strategy where advancement is concerned.  However, if you plan to take a job with hopes for a better salary and position in the future, make sure that these options really are open to you.

In some cases, employers will try to lure people into low paying jobs by stating that there is room for advancement, but these is no factual evidence to back up their statements.  You may want to take a few minutes to talk to other employees at the company and see if they believe that promotions are indeed possible.

On the Job Experience

Another consideration is that of experience.  If the low paying job in question offers great experience and will serve to boost your resume, then it definitely is offering something additional in value.  This could be quite helpful in securing a better paying job one or two years down the road.

Ultimately, every job-seeking situation is radically different, as every job seeker has his or her own set of needs and circumstances.  There is no cookie cutter approach that can determine whether or not you should take a low paying job instead of a higher paying one.  However, by following the points that we have outlined in this article, you stand a good chance of making the right choice.

The Best Foods to Eat to Maximize Your Job Interview Performance


Can what you eat actually impact job performance? What about your performance at a job interview?

Twenty years ago, people might have thought that what you eat could have little impact on your job performance or an interview, but modern medical discoveries have proven otherwise. What you eat leading up to and on the day of a job interview can, in fact, have a significant impact on how well you perform. In this article, we will explore what you should eat so that your brain and body are ready to go and ready to handle any interview question.

Let’s begin with the basics. If you are eating food that makes you feel horrible or even sick, then you are not likely to perform your best at any task, be it a job interview or otherwise. This is why you should greatly reduce or even eliminate junk food, processed food and sugar. Here is why. Junk food and processed foods are high in chemicals, additives, food colorings, sugar, sodium and trans fats. These “ingredients” are not what you need to be at your best physically and mentally.

This is why you want to opt for whole food options instead of processed food options leading up to your job interview.

The kinds of foods you need to be eating are foods that will make you feel good and give your body the nutrition that it needs to function properly. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is a great foundation. In addition to fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and smart, well-chosen proteins should make up the bulk of your diet. In fact, the right kind of proteins can actually give your brain the kind of boost that it needs for optimal performance during your interview.

Brain boosting foods are going to be those that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are fats that actually work to reduce inflammation in your body. As a result, they are able to fight disease and even ease aches and pains. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to be heart and brain healthy. Omega-3 rich foods help to keep your brain functioning properly and at a high level. In addition to making you feel/be smarter, they can also boost your mood as well.

Needless to say, this is exactly what you want for your next job interview. Let’s look at some of the top brain boosting foods that you will want to consider.

Maybe you are not a big fan of sardines, as these little fish often don’t make it onto the table. From a health and diet perspective, this is a real shame. Sardines are low in calories. Yet, at the same time, they are high in protein. More importantly, they are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which can only help you perform better during an interview. Other fish are also great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild Alaskan salmon is a great pick. Your salmon should be wild Alaskan salmon, as farm raised salmon has been shown to have a variety of contamination issues.

One study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition reviewed the type of impact that fish oil had on the mental performance of 18-35 year olds. They found that those who took this supplement had increased levels of blood flow to their brains when they performed mental tasks and they also had faster reaction times.

The journal Neurology recently reported similar findings. Those with low blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids had lower scores on tests of mental acuity. They also had lower cerebral brain volume.


Not all omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish. The nut world has provided us with a rich source in the form of walnuts. Walnuts are simply outstanding, as they are rich in numerous disease fighting compounds and are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Many experts feel that walnuts are one of the healthier foods that you can eat.

Other foods that you should consider for boosting your job interview performance include garlic (but not just before your job interview). Garlic has a range of health benefits including chemicals that fight inflammation as well as bacterial, viral and even fungal infections. If you want to stay healthy year round, then consider eating both raw and cooked garlic!

The bottom line is that you want to be feeling your best when you meet with someone in charge of hiring, during your job interview. Everyone knows that junk food is bad for you, yet many people make the mistake of eating it right before important moments like job interviews. If you can select foods that give you sustained energy and keep your brain running smoothly, you will always perform better.

5 Ways Public Speaking Can Help When Looking for Jobs

public speaking skills

Looking for jobs is a multi-faceted process. No matter what kind of job you are looking for and no matter what the current climate might be, finding a job is not a one-dimensional affair.

This means that you need to be approaching the task from a variety of perspectives. One of the single most important steps that you can take is to make strides in improving your product presentation. “Product presentation?” you ask. You are the product when you are looking for jobs. This means that the better you can “sell” that product, the quicker you will find a job that you love. In this article, we will examine 5 different ways that practicing public speaking can benefit you when it comes time to look for a job.

Factor One – Public Speaking and Building Confidence

Many people are intimidated or downright scared to speak in front of large groups. In fact, this is one of the most commonly held of all phobias. Yet, the good news is that this issue can be overcome with practice. If you are intimidated by speaking in public, the best way to conquer this fear is to simply begin speaking to larger and larger groups.

Speaking in front of groups will build your confidence, and that will speak for itself when you go on future interviews. Most of the time, employers like having confident employees. After all, a confident employee is one that believes that he or she can handle tough situations and “get things done.” Isn’t that the kind of person you want around? Having this kind of confidence on a job interview can pay off!

Factor Two – Public Speaking Helps You Become More Comfortable with Others

With confidence usually comes a level of comfort. Public speaking will not just help you build your confidence, but will also help you become more comfortable around others. Comfortable people are generally viewed as being warmer and more personable, and these are the kind of qualities that employers routinely look for when hiring. Personable people are easier to work with, as they are more likely to get along with others and be a valuable contributor to a team.

Factor Three – Become Comfortable Hearing Yourself Speak and Present Information

To be comfortable speaking around others, it is also important that you are not only comfortable around others, but also in your “own skin” as well. The simple fact is that many people are not happy hearing themselves speak. When you are on an interview, you want to be satisfied with your performance and not worried about what you sound like.

The more practice you have with public speaking, the more likely you are to develop your own style. This, in turn, will help you build your confidence levels even further. It’s a positive feedback loop in that the more you practice, the better you will get a public speaking and the more confidence you will have. Now, you’re really getting ready to tackle job interviews.

Factor Four – Public Speaking is an Opportunity to Practice in Front of Others

Part of developing communication skills and an effective communication style is to practice in front of other people. It is one thing to practice any activity alone and quite another to practice in front of others. The pressure of having other people watch you perform adds a level of psychological pressure that must be overcome and adapted to in order to progress. You may find it easy to transition from practicing public speaking alone to speaking to groups, but you won’t know until you get out there and start talking!

Factor Five – Get Feedback and Improve

The final major way that public speaking will help you during job interviews is that when you speak to groups you can get feedback. You can acquire this feedback in a variety of ways. This includes having trusted friends or associates watch your public speaking and give you tips as well as having the opportunity to ask strangers what they thought of your speech. Some circumstances might even allow for you have people fill out short surveys or send you their feedback via email. Don’t be shy about asking for this feedback, as it is extremely valuable and will help you improve your speaking skills.

Practicing public speaking can do more than improve your speaking skills. It can, in fact, transform how you communicate with others and elevate your personal communication skills to a new level. No matter what kind of jobs you are interviewing for, enhanced communication skills will do more than just impress; they’ll help you land a job.