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Book Review: It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor by Rebecca Shambaugh

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Any woman in the workplace would benefit by reading Rebecca Shambaugh's It's Not a Glass Ceiling, It's a Sticky Floor. Shambaugh, the President and CEO of SHAMBAUGH Leadership, presents women with possibilities for their future at work.

She points out that more than one third of Fortune 500 managers are women, but hold only 14.5% of the CEO positions. Usually, the theories are that there is a glass ceiling, preventing women from moving into executive positions. Shambaugh asks women to look at their own self-defeating or self-limiting actions, what she calls "sticky floors."

Women are their own worst enemies in the workplace, according to Shambaugh. Women need to know what kind of changes they want to make in their lives. Self-evaluation and life planning are important. She provides exercises so women can recognize their work styles, and, possibly benefit from those changes. The first step in moving up is to learn about yourself, and, learn to be yourself. Women should learn to balance work and life. One chapter involves perfectionism, which can be a sticky trap for women. Sometimes, women would do better to learn when they should let go, and accept that good enough will suffice.

The chapter that struck home with me was one on making a break from a job that has become too comfortable, in order to advance. I stayed 17 years in a job in Florida, even though I was not happy with the direction the library went under a new boss. When my husband, Jim, said to me, we have nothing holding us here, it freed me from a job where I was stuck. I loved my staff there, my library branch, and my library patrons, but I was unhappy with management. My move to Arizona was just what I needed.

Even if you're happy with your present job, Shambaugh's It's Not A Glass Ceiling, It's a Sticky Floor, might provide you with a new way of looking at it. With her practical advice about communication and knowing yourself, Rebecca Shambaugh had done a favor for every working woman.

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About Lesa Holstine