Let’s timelord back the ‘80s when I was raised by a single father in the only way my dad knew how – like a boy.
He’s always been an engineer and could turn his hand to anything. When I was around 10, he bought home a book from work about how fibre optic signals travel down a cable for telephones; I was hooked and went with him to site to help lay cables on weekends.
So, it came as no shock that I wanted to be an engineer and went to the local college to study electronics. I remember my first Robotics lecture and the tutor saying I was in the wrong classroom as this was the engineering block – I told him to get back in his box. That tutor absolutely hated me! However, every week I’d turn up and do what I needed to pass, despite the blackboard rubbers that flew at me.
Eventually, I got an interview for an IT Helpdesk role. I built my skills by hanging out with the ‘workshop wierdos’ who’d send kit for me to fix between calls or call me so I could see a new fascinating bit of kit.
Over time, different roles and employers, I progressed. Slowly…I’d see my male counterparts being promoted or getting pay rises (this was before Equal Pay), so I started career hunting and found myself being rejected more and more. One stinging rejection after another. I asked for feedback following an interview and was told “maybe it’s because you are a woman”. I applied for a role in the name of Michelle Coombs and was rejected, but the same CV titled M Coombs, received an email offering Mr Coombs an interview. That was the first skirt suit I bought, worth it as the look of shock when he realised his interviewee was a female was hilarious!
Several years later and I’m in a management role for 70 odd people and undertaking my Master’s in Leadership and Management. I decided my dissertation would be on the Glass Ceiling to see how to progress further.
I theorised that it’s difficult for women to move up the career ladder; and studied the gender imbalance in the IT sub-culture and whether there is a glass ceiling in effect for women who wish to progress; the factors of work life balance and sacrifices that must be made; and identify ways in which society can then seek to close the gap.
Months of research and 20,000 words later, I’d debunked Glass Ceiling as a ‘real thing’ – what was going on? I was so sure that I would find the answer! I turned my attention to what else could be holding me back…
You’ve guessed it – it was my mindset!
Once I made the changes to me, my life opened up. I now help others solve the problems of success and help them to live a life of achievement and endless possibilities.