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Does the Glass Ceiling Exist?

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I recently read a book that really pissed me off.

Edited by Naina Lal Kidwai, “30 Women In Power: Their Voices, Their Stories” is a compilation of Indian essayists advice on many issues working women face. What surprised me is how in many of the stories the women claim to not have experienced a glass ceiling at all.

No glass ceiling?

Are you fucking kidding me?

30 trailblazing leaders who’ve made it to the top and breaking any glass ceilings wasn’t a hot topic?

Not something they brought to light and gave guidance for?! How could this be?

Real women.

In the corporate world.

And no glass ceiling.

Is this just another collection of stories written to please the audience or only showcasing the positive versus the real truth or actual challenges?

I put the book down, but couldn’t put it down in my mind.

It was this annoying puzzle I now had to solve.

When I leafed through it again, I wondered if they were successful precisely because they didn’t make a big deal about the glass ceiling. If that was, in fact, a key to the top.

These women assessed the situation they were in, set their goals, and then went after them.

They didn’t focus on what they couldn’t control, didn’t go down the path to change the world knowingly, and didn’t fight their way to equal rights.

They just focused on working hard and getting it done.

Suddenly, the book felt a lot different in my hands and I was kind of floored, to be honest. Not that I don’t believe we need to change the systems, the structures, and the rules – we absolutely need to – but what if that as a primary goal isn’t actually the way to change them?

They didn’t set small goals, but dreamt big – and just went about their business of making it happen, not worrying about how hard they had to work versus how hard a man had to work.

It gave me insight into what has always been true:

We need to focus our attention on what we can control.

We need to hone our efforts and expend our energy on achieving what we want with what we have.

Then when we are in inevitable positions of power, we can really make a change. We can change the rules, change the systems, change the game for ourselves and for all of the women behind us.

But at the start and as we go, maybe we’re not doing ourselves any favors by pinpointing the change off in the distance, like some huge mountain; instead, we just need to go for it.

To conquer the whole range of mountains, not just one of the things in the way of getting there.


You’re an ambitious woman with a game-changing vision for the world.

You’ve never doubted that.

But your current blueprint isn’t working.

You feel stuck in imposter syndrome, in perpetual burn-out, in old beliefs that keep you in old behaviors, in fighting tooth and nail for every promotion and position. You want to feel sought after, not invisible, confident, not passed over, in charge, not at the whim of corporate winds.

There’s a better way.

With my program, The Powerhouse Blueprint, you will start to evolve from workhorse to powerhouse in just three months using the three cornerstones of a natural and balanced leader: presence, strategy, and influence.

Want to learn how YOU can become a powerhouse and change the trajectory of your career? Sign up for your free consult to learn more.

Pooja Dang is a Women’s Executive Leadership Coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, serving clients globally at companies such as Google, GoPro, Dropbox, and more. With over 15 years of experience in coaching, advising, and propelling women towards rapid career advancement and promotion, she specializes in high-impact workshops and dynamic 1:1 coaching, delivering breakthrough outcomes and accelerated change. Pooja has a proven track record of coaching women into the C-suite and is a trusted expert in growing executive presence, expanding influence, high-stakes negotiations, and leadership development. Using proven scientific strategies, transformative behavior tools, and a no-BS approach, Pooja is on a mission to empower more women to live confidently at the top of their game. Book your free consultation today. #ExecutiveCoach #LeadershipDevelopment #WomenInLeadership #BehaviorChange #CsuiteCoaching


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