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The glass ceiling for women at work is a myth

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We know about the glass ceiling in business. It foxes us into thinking that we can reach great heights but when we 'reach it', it stops us. Many women at work feel that this glass ceiling will stop them some time in their careers simply because of their gender. Not true, says Nerina Visser: head of beta and ETFs: global markets at Nedbank Capital. She says the glass ceiling is a myth, a creation existing solely in the minds of women, and it is as easily shattered as it is created. So how can this barrier to success be destroyed?

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Women at work: Face your greatest fears!

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As a woman in an entry-level job, I feel that I have quite a way to go before I hit the proverbial 'glass ceiling' yet, I still have fears that I believe prevent me from reaching my full potential in the professional world. Looking to tackle these, I recently spoke with Paul Nyamuda - psychologist, executive coach, motivational speaker and owner of Corporate Legends – to find out what the typical fears of women at work are and how we can face these.

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How to create low-stress work environments

Life today is filled with struggles to manage personal life challenges, meet deadlines at work along with various frustrations and demands that could leave people feeling overwhelmed. In attempting to manage all these demands, people tend to experience stress and this has become part of everyday life. Stress isn't always bad – in small dosages as it can motivate people to perform under pressure. However, when one constantly experiences extreme levels of stress, the impact on mind and body could be devastating. This means that it's crucial to learn how to cope with stress.

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What are the qualities of successful organisations?

82% of South African employees report that co-worker behaviour has left them feeling frustrated, angry and hurt. This is according to the latest research survey undertaken by behavioural change experts, The Human Edge. At a recent executive breakfast held in Johannesburg, organisational psychologist Helene Vermaak – director and business owner at the company – also expanded on what the qualities of successful organisations are.

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Aligning personal and company values

Values can be different for different people. These differences can also lead to inconsistences between employees' personal values and the values of the organisation. Acting against this may appear to be curtailed by the fact that everyone enjoys the right to their personal values, a right supported by the bill of rights in the constitution. This personal right doesn't, however, eliminate the organisation's right to expect employees to conform to its values when, for example, an employee performs his/her duties. It also doesn't prevent the organisation from taking action against those who contravene its values.

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