According to McKinsey & Company's "Women in the Workplace" report (2022), 43% of women leaders are burned out, compared to only 31% of men at their level. As more and more women break through the glass ceiling, the impact of their success on their work-life balance is an issue that requires attention.
The Glass Ceiling is a metaphor for the invisible barrier to women's success. It's a term coined by Marilyn Loden at the 1978 Women at Work exposition to emphasize the point that organizational obstacles place greater limitations on women's career advancement than personal hurdles.
Since then, as women, we've continued to slowly chip away at and break through the invisible professional barriers. While it is undoubtedly an achievement for women to shatter the glass ceiling and succeed in their careers, this success can come at a hidden personal cost. When women break the glass ceiling, cracks show up at home. This could be strained relationships with your partner and children or your own physical and mental health. And so, as #women, we work harder until we either quit, burn out, or break the glass ceiling and pay the price of success.
Studies show that women who have broken through the glass ceiling often face increased pressure to work harder and longer hours, which can negatively impact their work-life balance. Moreover, women who are promoted to leadership positions often have to deal with gender bias and discrimination, which can further add to their stress levels. A report by McKinsey & Company found that while women make up 48% of entry-level employees, only 26% make it to C-level executive. This disparity in gender representation at the highest levels of management can create additional pressure on women to perform at their best, making it harder to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In addition to these challenges, women who break through the glass ceiling are often expected to be role models for other women, both inside and outside their organizations. While this is a positive development, it can also lead to increased pressure and scrutiny. According to a study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company, many women in leadership positions feel that they need to work harder than their male counterparts to prove their worth. They tend to be more empathic leaders and invest twice as much time and effort in employee well-being, diversity, equity, and inclusion with little reward or acknowledgement.
Meanwhile, on the home front, most working women from entry- to C-suite level work are also overworked in unpaid housework and/or child-care duties. This imbalance between women and men is more shocking at senior levels. According to the 2022 Women in Workplace Report, among entry-level employees, women are about twice as likely as men to be doing all of this work. Meanwhile, among employees in leadership, women are about four times as likely as men to be doing all of this work.
Despite these challenges, there are ways to improve #worklifebalance for women who break through the glass ceiling. Organizations can implement policies such as flexible work arrangements, parental leave, and employee assistance programs to support women in managing their work and personal lives. Mentors and support networks can help women navigate the challenges of leadership positions.
Additionally, on a personal level, there is also a lot more we can do at home. We can create personalized and family systems to protect and repair our relationships, heal our bodies, and save our sanity.
After struggling with career-personal life balance during my final years of Sport and Exercise Medicine Fellowship Training, I realized I needed to establish a healthy lifestyle as the foundation for success. As a result, I began researching and exploring different Lifestyle Medicine and behaviour change theories used in psychology, health coaching, and personal development. What I discovered inspired me to become a coach, learn powerful coaching tools, and create my own frameworks that have positively impacted myself, my family, and my career.
I've created a simple framework, the SOS Balance Framework, to help women prioritize self-care, organization, and support. Through coaching, I guide women to create sustainable and fulfilling lifestyles that work for them and their families. The problem is that not enough women know about coaching and how it can help them enjoy success and avoid or recover from burnout.
In conclusion, breaking through the glass ceiling can have a significant impact on women's work-life balance. While it is an achievement to reach the top of the corporate ladder, it can come at a cost to personal well-being. Organizations and individuals must work together to create a supportive environment that enables women to succeed without sacrificing their health and personal life. Coaching is another valuable tool to add to your success kit so that as you break the glass ceilings, your family stays connected, and you remain strong.
Join me on this journey towards a healthy, happy, and successful life.
Let's make your success healthy and happy!
About me: My mission is to help professional working women and mothers achieve success that is healthy and happy for both themselves and their families. At HERSELF HEALTH & Lifestyle Coaching, I offer personalized coaching and training to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
So, if you haven't yet tried coaching, book your FREE Work-Life Balance Strategy Session with me.
Or read my blog where I offer valuable insights and tips on prioritizing health and well-being while juggling the demands of work and family.
I believe that small changes can lead to significant results, and I'm passionate about helping women achieve success and happiness through health. Join me on this journey towards a healthy, happy, and successful life.