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Glass ceilings, sticky floors and glass cliffs....

Fri 12 March 2010

, Lydia Duijvestijn

Having read Floor Borgonjen's paper titled 'Female Work Ethic', subtitled 'An exploration, study and context description of the sticky floors phenomenon in the Dutch working society', I wondered how come during her interviews she could not find any really convincing examples of women who have experienced the phenomenon that she studied. This may be caused (as she indicates) by the composition of the group that she interviewed: 25 young, ambitious women, probably some of them already aligned to some talent program. It may also be caused by the fact that it is not considered 'nice' to 'complain' about bad past experiences, thus placing a taboo on the subject.

Thinking about this and looking back upon my own 23-year old career in ICT land, I find that there have been many glass ceilings, sticky floors and glass cliffs. The problem has always been that I was very lonely in my profession (IT Architect), which made it easy for managers to attribute the unpleasant decisions that they 'had to' take to my personal characteristics. It was hard to argue with this as there were no statistics to prove what was happening. After all, there was nobody to compare with.... Fortunately this is slowly changing. There are now 2 of us in The Netherlands and more are in the pipeline. I sincerely hope hope that they will not get disappointed and leave; together we can be much stronger than alone