Is it a long way to the top?

Is it a long way to the top?

This morning I got to thinking about the career progression and ambition.

Maybe not the sexiest of topics to all, but on my mind nonetheless.

There’s good reason too…

First the lovely Big A presented me with a copy of 7 Myths about Women and Work by Catherine Fox. Which I loved as it really resonated with me. I devoured it in three days and promptly lent it to a friend, saying ‘you HAVE to read this’.

Then there was the ‘sage’ (tongue planted firmly in cheek) opinion piece from Susan Patton about how to make the most out of your time at University (in this case Princeton) – apparently the main game is to find a rich, smart husband!  Incredibly aggravating, outrageously old-fashioned, but well worth the read as you are highly likely to encounter the same ‘opinion’ in your professional career. Grrrrrr, bloody grrrr.

Next up was Sheryl Sandberg’s tome, Lean In. Enlightening, brilliantly/ brutally honest, and one of the best books I have ever read. Ever. Furiously ambitious, Sheryl Sandberg’s book and opinion pieces have appeared at precisely the right time for me. A time when I am looking around, and wondering where are all the women in leadership?

Which leads me to here, in a coffee shop at lunchtime, pondering the big question of… what next?

You see, I am filled to the brim with ambition. Years ago, it bubbled over as I saw my future as bright and shiny, and I knew that of course I would eventually become a CEO.  Blind, brash ambition? Maybe. In my heart of hearts though, that is what I was aiming for.

So what has changed?

In short, nothing.

If you read this blog a little (or a lot – in which case – thank you!), you’ll know that I have a tribe of kids, and a fab supportive husband (that’d be Big A).

This has not changed/ dampened/ erased my ambition.

Over the years I’ve pursued challenging roles (overseas, interstate, change management, operations), completed two Masters degrees, and taken very little ‘time out’ to give birth to my little tribe. I work full-time and give it my all. I have now reached middle management.

So, my question is now… what is next?

What is it that I need to do to get to the top?

In the mining industry where women are in the minority (like most industries), and the gender pay gap is moving at snails pace this ambition seems even more lofty.

Yet, I am not going to give up. And nor should you if you are reading this and thinking, yes, me too!

My plan of attack so far is to keep speaking up, continuing to seek out and step into challenges, and supporting my colleagues in closing the gap.

What would you do? Have you got any hot tips?

Enjoy xx

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