The Glass Ceiling Myth in 2024. Why You Are a Victim of Biased Promotions and Not a Beneficiary

Biased promotions – Have you ever wondered why some people seem to effortlessly climb the corporate ladder, while others feel perpetually stuck? Many dream of leadership, and other positions where they can positively impact organizational outcomes. The reality on the ground hits quite differently, with its maze of unspoken rules and unequal opportunities. Today, we delve into a highly sensitive topic that I have encountered multiple times as an HR expert in the Kenyan job market – biased promotions in the workplace

Favoritism – A Recipe for Resentment

This isn’t just a case of the “glass ceiling” as most might assume. Biased promotions affect and limit the full potential of many highly qualified men and women who are not part of the “in-crowd.”

In some organizations, leaders – or should we call them bosses? – promote those who mirror their own thoughts and appearances. These leaders form exclusive groups based on factors like tribal affiliation or personal friendships. Promotions and hefty salaries are bestowed upon these chosen few, while the rest of the team stagnates in their roles and salaries.

“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about life-changing impact, developed over time and confirmed by results.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

Biased leaders aren’t shy about criticizing those who fall outside the favored circle. Their chosen favorites, on the other hand, bask in constant praise, even if it’s undeserved. 

The High Cost of Unfairness

The harsh reality is that this harmful practice doesn’t benefit anyone – not even the favorites! Resentment brews amongst colleagues who are passed over for the promotions they deserve. The “chosen ones” are ostracized, and seen as frauds who received their titles through manipulation rather than merit. They live under the constant fear of exposure, burdened by an unearned position and a gnawing sense of guilt. If you’re among this latter group, the reality is bound to catch up with you sooner rather than later. 

Don’t Be A Victim of Biased Promotions and Unearned Progress 

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The favorites themselves often struggle, and that goes without saying. If you lack the requisite skills for the position that you occupy, sooner or later you will be discovered for a fraud. You will start to feel inadequate compared to your hardworking, honest colleagues who were unfairly bypassed. This lack of genuine merit will start to breed a sense of insecurity and indebtedness.

These “fast-tracked” employees become vulnerable to manipulation by the leaders who put them in these positions. They lack the confidence and skills that come from true meritocratic advancement, making them easier to control. 

Breaking Free From the Trap of Biased Promotions 

It might be a case of “not what you get but what you do with it.” If you find yourself being the recipient (or victim) of unmerited favoritism, there’s a way out! Reject the “easy path” with its hidden strings attached. Champion fairness, integrity, and a meritocratic system – even when taking shortcuts is tempting. Remember, true success comes from genuine skill, hard work, and strategic networks, not manipulation.

You have all the potential you need to succeed on the right path. Don’t settle for anything less!

Building a Better Workplace for All

Biased promotions are a symptom of a larger issue: a lack of strong leadership. True leaders value fairness, diversity of thought, and experience. They foster an environment where everyone has a fair shot at advancement based on merit. Organizations that embrace these principles will be more innovative, productive, and successful in the long run. They will also have a better team culture that will attract the best kind of reviews and the right kind of employees, 

Join the Conversation on #LillianNgalaNetwork

At the LillianNgala Network, we’re passionate about creating a more equitable workplace for all. We encourage you to share your experiences and insights in our socials, blogs, and other community forums. Unlock the power of strategic networking in 2024 for you and your team. 

I also take this opportunity to invite you to our next networking event which is also targeted at everyone looking to be a leader or scale the corporate ladder. On March 06, 2024, we will be meeting at the Serena Hotel, Nairobi, from 5.30 – 9.30 P.M., for the next #LNN event dubbed “Your Network is Your Net Worth“. Here, you will meet and interact with leaders, executives, and managers from all walks of life who want to upgrade their leadership skills and networks to the next level.

Let’s work together to build a world where leadership is based on merit and everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

#Leadership #Workplace #LillianNgalaNetwork