Climb corporate ladder in heels

Nonto Masuku

LIKE many women, I love my heels.  A good pair of heels can make a simple outfit look elegant.

Heels, however, can be very uncomfortable particularly if worn for long periods of time or if one has to walk in them for a long stretch.

I have seen women walk around with difficulty because of an uncomfortable pair of shoes.  I think you will all agree that is a sight to behold.

Now imagine someone trying to climb a mountain on heels, that definitely would be considered insane.  Heels were just not made for that kind of activity.

Debjani Ghosh, the managing director – Sales and Marketing Group for Intel South Asia – wrote an article that talks about the difficulties women face as they try to make their way up the corporate ladder.  Ghosh entitled the article Climbing The Corporate Ladder In Heels.


I thought this was a brilliant metaphor as it perfectly brings out how difficult it can be for women to climb the corporate ladder.

Undeniably, the path up the corporate ladder is not an easy one, especially for women.

It is strewn with challenges, be it dealing with stereotype mindsets about women, struggles in juggling family and work life, unequal pay, you name it.

Having said this, the women who have made it to the top are a testament that despite the challenges, it is definitely not impossible to move up.

As we start the year, I would like to give some advice to all the professional women out there (sisterhood).

As Gosh says, “Yes, we women face a lot of external challenges when it comes to professional success.

“The biggest challenges however, are the walls we build in our mind.

“We are often our worst enemies, as we constantly doubt our own abilities and intensions. If we get rid of the demons inside our heads it will be much easier to deal with the external factors.

Start thinking positively about yourself, start appreciating the qualities you have, start appreciating the dreams and aspirations you have and give yourself a chance to make a difference.

“If we allow ourselves, we can do a lot.”  We all have to face the notorious glass ceiling, however, as Gosh states, “the best thing about a glass ceiling is that it is made of glass and glass can be shattered. Just believe you can do it.”

As we start the year women, let us believe in ourselves and in our ability to be the best and let us give ourselves a chance to make a difference.

The right question is not whether I can do it; but whether I WANT to do it!

Nonto Masuku is a partner of an image and reputation management firm