Overcoming the Glass Ceiling for Moms

By: Heather Eager


It's an unfortunate fact that a glass ceiling exists at all for women. Throw being a mom on top of that, and you might have lowered that ceiling even more. As is true in most things in life, it's not accurate to say this is always the case. There are exceptions, and hopefully those exceptions will soon be the norm. Until then, here are some tips for moms moving upward at work.

Dress the Part

It's a good idea to always have one last look at yourself in the mirror before you make your entrance into the office. Maybe it's even your car window that substitutes as a mirror for you. Moms are resourceful so figure out a way to make sure you look ready to work. Going in there with baby slobber and some breakfast crumbs on your clothes doesn't scream, "Promote me!"

With young babies it's very difficult, if not impossible, to keep looking fresh and professional. So make getting dressed the last thing you do before leaving the house. If that won't work for you, slip on a button down shirt that you can wear over your clothes until you don't have to worry about it getting dirtied up. No matter how rushed you are, though, just be sure to take the shirt off before heading into the office!

Talk Business

Yes, when you're at work, you're still a mom. You're always a mom. However, you don't want to remind people of that all day every day. You have your close friends at work that you can speak to about personal things, but keep talk like that to a minimum with other co-workers. You don't want to be portrayed as someone who's focus and attention is always anywhere but at the job at hand.

Take the Tough Assignments

Just because you have to pick the kids up from daycare at a certain time, doesn't mean that you can't tackle the big projects. See how you can manage some of the tasks at home after the kids go to bed. Try to squeeze in a little work time on the weekends. Don't sacrifice all your family time; certainly not. However, if you can manage and/or work on projects even while you're not at the office, your superiors will take note.

Arrange some time with your IT department to get you mobile and able to login into your work computer from home. Of course, check with your boss prior to this to ensure there is no company policy against that.

Getting ahead at work is not an easy thing to do no matter who you are. You have to work hard and prove your worth. Moms have challenges but they can be conquered. Know your constraints and how to work around them. Make the decision to promote you an easy one for the powers-to-be.

2007, Heather Eager. All Rights Reserved.

Heather Eagar is a former professional resume writer and creator of Moms Back to Work, a site that offers help to moms returning to work. For resume and cover letter samples, interview advice and resume writing just for moms, go to http://www.MomsBacktoWork.com