The Other Glass Ceiling: Parenthood

Glass Ceiling in Parenthood vs Work Life

Glass Ceilings:  One size does not fit all

This subject comes up several times throughout any given year.  It always refers to women in the work place and how they either sabotage their own rise up the corporate ladder  or they choose not to climb on the ladder in the first place.

A glass ceiling will be different depending on parenthood – – one word that changes everything.  Yes, marriage changes a lot – – but not as much as parenthood. The rest of this blog is for those who’ve chosen parenthood.

Just ask any working Mom who has to find an emergency baby sitter – – or has an important presentation at work and a child at home who is not only sick, but really wants only his Mom to be there to take care of him/her.

I can speak from the standpoint of been there  motherhood, done that participated in the corporate ladder race.  No corporate ladder is worth short-changing the lives of your children.  I’m not talking about isolated incidences  I’m talking about long-term career responsibilities that are in direct conflict with parenting.

You do not get over with your children.  They pass through your life one time –  – one 1st grade Christmas pageant where they have an important, or minor, role in the choir.  One middle-school debate competition where their team wins (or comes in 2nd).  A winning free-throw for the State Basketball Championship.

Corporate titles and responsibilities will come and go.  Companies are merged/acquired, you’re promoted; you move to a different company.  Your career path as a working parent will have many detours  – – but you will only have one opportunity to be a part of the growth of your child  at all the different stages.

So glass ceiling – – yes – – there is.  Companies rarely understand when you say noto a promotion or added responsibilities.  However, there’s more to life than ceilings (glass, wood, gold or silver).  Sometimes, it is the smile on your child’s face  or the look of delight when you greet them at the door.

And – – eventually – – it is that awesome moment when you hear Nana- – so, true confession- – I’m now a Grandma.


Kay Stout is a Managing Partner in Pacheco Stout Consulting and work as an executive career advisor for Oklahoma Professional Search, a leader in career transition.  Kay is a regular on the Behind The Mike Radio Show and a is contributor to CareeRocketeer. Visit her blog, Another Point of View.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

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