BE 2024 Conference

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Overcoming Gender Barriers

gender barriers gender bias gender equality gender equality in the workplace workplace discrimination Mar 29, 2024
picture of a woman presenting a lecture about overcoming gender barriers

Despite many advances for women in our world, we as women still find ourselves hitting invisible barriers that hold us back. You have probably heard of it – the notorious "glass ceiling" – those unspoken challenges and biases that keep us from reaching, doing, and being more. 

For as long as we can remember, we have been wrestling with hurdles on our journey toward equity, at work and home. Whether it is dealing with societal pressures or facing outright discrimination, the road to leveling the playing field has been far from smooth. Hear me out on this one: despite these obstacles, we have been breaking stereotypes, defying expectations, and climbing the ranks in all sorts of industries. 

Nowadays, breaking through that glass ceiling is not just a dream – it is a rallying cry for women everywhere. It IS an ongoing struggle, but we have made strides. We are seeing more and more women achieving remarkable feats, blazing trails for the generations to come. And with each barrier we smash, the path gets clearer for more women to shine and succeed. 

The momentum toward equal opportunities is building as we support and uplift each other, demanding fairness in every sphere. One thing is for certain: as we journey toward a more inclusive world, our grit and resilience in overcoming challenges will shape a brighter tomorrow for everyone.  

Evolution of Women's Roles in the Workplace 

To understand the challenges women face today, we must first look back at history. Throughout the ages, women have been relegated to domestic roles, with limited opportunities for education or employment outside the home. From ancient civilizations to the industrial revolution, societal norms dictated that a woman's place was primarily in the household, caring for her family and tending to domestic duties. 

However, as societies evolved and economies developed, women began to challenge these traditional roles. The suffrage movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries marked a turning point, as women fought for the right to vote and participate in civic life. This period also saw the emergence of early voices advocating for women's rights and equality. 

World War II presented a unique opportunity for women to enter the workforce en masse, as millions of men were called to serve in the military. Women took on roles traditionally held by men, working in factories, offices, and other essential industries to support the war effort. This pivotal moment not only showcased women's capabilities but also challenged prevailing attitudes about their place in the workforce. 

The post-war era brought significant changes to women's roles in society, with the rise of second-wave feminism in the 1960s and 1970s. This movement focused on addressing issues such as workplace discrimination and gender-based violence. Legal milestones, such as the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, laid the groundwork for combating gender discrimination in the workplace. 

The thing that has NOT changed, and must, is that we, as women, are still expected to do 8-12 more hours of domestic work in the home each week more than our male partners. Basically, our roles and expectations to care for our families still lies primarily on women’s shoulders, despite her work. This is why I created the Brave Enough Women’s 2024 CME conference, because we will be talking about strategies to balance both work and home life. Real life strategies to help us stay WELL as women. 

As a woman physician and a mom, I have made a personal commitment to prioritize my growth and well-being despite the myriad responsibilities I juggle. With the demands of both my career and personal life, I refuse to deprive myself of opportunities for knowledge, connection, and moments to recharge. 

Juggling both worlds can indeed feel overwhelming at times. However, as women, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of evolving not just for the sake of our workplace or family, but also for our personal growth and development. By investing in ourselves and striving to become the best versions of ourselves, we not only enhance our own lives but also inspire and uplift those around us. 

This is what the BE 2024 Women’s CME Conference exactly offers. It is a transformative experience designed to meet the unique needs of women like us, providing a space where we can come together to learn, grow, and evolve not only in our professional lives but also within ourselves. 

By investing in ourselves and taking the time to nurture our own growth and well-being, we not only become better healthcare providers and leaders but also role models for the next generation of women in medicine. 

Pivotal Moments in Breaking the Glass Ceiling 

Throughout history, there have been countless women who defied expectations and shattered barriers to achieve success in their respective fields. From trailblazing pioneers to modern-day leaders, these women have left an indelible mark on society and inspired future generations to follow in their footsteps. 

One such trailblazer was Amelia Earhart, who became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932. Her historic achievement challenged stereotypes about women's capabilities and paved the way for future female aviators and astronauts. 

In the world of politics, figures like Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel have broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings in their respective countries. Thatcher, who served as the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990, was known for her strong leadership and unwavering resolve. Merkel, who became the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005, has been praised for her pragmatic approach to governance and steady leadership during times of crisis.  

In the corporate world, women like Indra Nooyi and Sheryl Sandberg have blazed trails and shattered glass ceilings in the male-dominated world of business. Nooyi, who served as the CEO of PepsiCo from 2006 to 2018, was known for her strategic vision and commitment to sustainability. Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, has been a vocal advocate for women's empowerment and gender equality in the workplace.  

At the end of the day, women still persevere to bring equality and fairness. And no matter how simple or ordinary we may view ourselves, I want you to know that we bring extraordinary contributions to society through our diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences. Our unique voices and insights enrich every aspect of our communities, fostering innovation, empathy, and progress for all. 

This year, I am excited to connect with all extraordinary women pushing themselves to evolve and be better through the BE24's Referral Program. Refer a new attendee to BE24, and both of you will receive an exclusive invite to a private event with yours truly. But that is not all—by participating, you will also be entered to win a luxurious spa day at BE24. So, spread the word, share the experience, and let's make BE24 an unforgettable journey for you and your friends.   

Challenges and Struggles in Overcoming Gender Barriers 

Despite the progress made in recent decades, we still face numerous challenges and obstacles in our quest for gender equality in the workplace. Here are some of the struggles that hinder women's advancement and limit our potential for success: 

Gender Bias 

In our professional lives, one of the most pervasive challenges we face is the persistent presence of gender bias in the workplace. Despite our qualifications and capabilities, stereotypes and preconceived notions about women often result in discrimination and unequal treatment. It is disheartening to see how frequently we are overlooked for leadership positions, despite our proven track records and skills.  

Workplace Discrimination 

Despite legal protections, discrimination based on gender persists in many workplaces. We are prone to encounter bias in hiring, promotions, and salary negotiations. Additionally, we are also more likely to face harassment or microaggressions, creating hostile work environments that impede our advancement. 

Lack of Representation in Leadership 

As women, we often find ourselves underrepresented in leadership positions across various industries and sectors. This absence of female role models and decision-makers not only perpetuates gender stereotypes but also restricts our access to crucial opportunities for mentorship and sponsorship, which are essential for our career advancement. This lack of representation not only limits our individual growth but also hampers the overall diversity and inclusivity of leadership teams, depriving organizations of the varied perspectives and talents that women bring to the table. 

Work-Life Control 

Balancing work and personal life can be really tough, especially for those of us who have to take care of others, like kids or elderly family members. We feel this pressure to do well at work while also taking care of our families, and it can be overwhelming. Sometimes, we are forced to make hard decisions about what is more important – our jobs or our families.  

This constant juggling act can leave us feeling stressed and stretched thin, trying to keep everything under control. But it's important to remember that we deserve to have a say in how we manage our time and that it's okay to ask for help when we need it. By finding a balance that works for us, we can take better care of ourselves and our loved ones while still pursuing our career goals. 

When we struggle with work-life control, the 24 hours of each day seems not enough. If you struggle with time management and is clueless about where to start, my Time Management Course can help you. Check out and learn techniques to prioritize tasks, set achievable goals, and create a schedule that works for you.   

Strategies for Advancing Gender Equality in the Workplace 

Despite the challenges we face, there are numerous strategies and initiatives aimed at advancing gender equality in the workplace. From corporate policies to grassroots activism, these efforts play a vital role in breaking down barriers and creating opportunities for us to thrive: 

1. Foster Diversity and Inclusion 

Promoting diversity and inclusion within organizations is essential for fostering a workplace culture that values and respects the contributions of all employees. By embracing diversity in hiring practices, leadership development programs, and decision-making processes, companies can create environments where women feel supported and empowered to succeed. 

2. Promote Equal Opportunities for All 

Implementing policies and practices to address gender bias and promote equal opportunities is crucial for dismantling the glass ceiling. From pay equity initiatives to bias training programs, organizations can take proactive steps to ensure fairness and transparency in their employment practices. 

3. Conduct Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs 

Mentorship and sponsorship programs are valuable tools for supporting women's career development and advancement. Pairing junior employees with experienced mentors and sponsors can provide invaluable guidance, networking opportunities, and advocacy within the organization. 

4. Be an Advocate 

Advocacy and activism are essential for driving systemic change and legislative reform to address gender inequality in the workplace. By mobilizing public support, raising awareness of gender issues, and lobbying policymakers for change, activists can help create a more equitable and inclusive society for all. 

Do you want to expand your network with like-minded women advocating for growth and positive change? Join our amazing community, The Table. At The Table, you will have the opportunity to connect with inspiring women who are passionate about creating a better future. Our members come from diverse backgrounds, but are united in their drive to empower one another and make a difference.   

Let Women Lead the Way 

Looking ahead, we see that there is still a lot of work ahead to achieve gender equality in the workplace. Although we have made progress in recent years, there are still significant disparities and barriers that need to be addressed, requiring us to keep pushing forward together. 

We are also noticing new trends in the workplace, like remote work and flexible scheduling, which give us more opportunities to balance our professional and personal lives. By embracing these trends and using technology to create more inclusive work environments, we can empower ourselves to succeed in our careers while also taking care of our personal well-being. 

Also, I firmly believe that education and awareness are one of the keys to challenging the gender norms and stereotypes that hold us back in the workplace. By promoting gender-sensitive education, having open conversations, and providing training on unconscious bias, we can break down harmful stereotypes and make our workplaces more welcoming for everyone. By speaking out, raising awareness, and holding decision-makers accountable, we can help create a more just and equitable society for all of us. 

Encouraging the next generation of women to pursue their dreams without limits is crucial for breaking the cycle of gender inequality. By showing them strength, grace, and resilience, we can lead the way to open endless possibilities available to them.  

So, sister, if by chance you are reading this, believe in yourself and your abilities.  

Together, we can create a future where women are truly equal in every aspect of society. We are women, and we are the change-makers of tomorrow. 

Feeling stretched thin? I can show you 10 ways to get back TWO HOURS in your week!



We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.