Woman painting with ladder that she owns. Stop climbing the ladder

Stop Climbing the Ladder

Why women need to stop trying to take the traditional path to success

A recent report called “Women in the Workplace 2016” yielded some unsurprising news about the difference between men’s and women’s experiences at work. Some notable statistics from the report include:

  • For every 100 women promoted to manager, 130 men are promoted.
  • By the time women reach the SVP level, they hold just 20% of line roles, and line roles lead more directly to the C-suite.
  • Women get less access to senior leadership than men.

The study goes on to report that, “Women get less access to the people and opportunities that advance careers and are disadvantaged in many of their daily interactions. These inequities appear to take a toll on women: They are less likely to think they have equal opportunities for growth and development—and more likely to think their gender will play a role in missing out on a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead.”

This isn’t new

The results of the study are not new. In fact, I’ve written time and time again about how women in traditional corporate settings fall behind when it comes to wages, promotions, and overall work experiences.

There have been enormous strides in recent years of women breaking the glass ceiling, and there are more successful female CEOs every day. And yet, most women still struggle to get ahead in their careers.

What frustrates me about this report is not the statistics about gendered workplace differences. What frustrates me is that, despite reading reports like this every day, so many women still see the path to success as going to school, getting good grades to get a good job and then fighting to climb a corporate ladder that’s working against them to the top.

Don’t climb the ladder

Now, more than ever, women need to understand that there are numerous, better paths to financial success. We live in an age when one woman with a laptop and Internet connection can create a flourishing business. One woman can become a successful CEO by doing things her own way in a fraction of the time it takes women who are climbing the ladder to get to the same position.

And yet we are still educating the next generation of women about the old paths to career success that just don’t work anymore. 

As Robert’s rich dad once said, “Why climb the ladder? Why not own the ladder?”

I believe this advice is more important than ever.

Own the ladder

If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere in your career, that you’re being passed up for promotions, or having trouble finding access to mentors, why do you keep looking jobs? Why not go out and create your own business?

The key lies in the CASHFLOW Quadrant. Here you can see the difference between employees, self-employed, business owners, and investors.

Rich Dad's CASHFLOW© Quadrant

Rich Dad's CASHFLOW© Quadrant

Employees and self-employed are the ones who are trying to climb that ladder to success. They might have high salaries, but they also pay the most in taxes and trade their time for money.

On the right side of the quadrant, business owners and investors pay the least in taxes and invest in assets that make them money.

Once you understand the difference between the left and the right side of the Quadrant, it’s a no brainer. For women to enjoy true financial success, they have to make the move to the right side. 

How do you get there?

Don’t keep pushing your head against the glass ceiling hoping it will break. Instead, go where there is no ceiling and create something incredible.

It starts with financial education. Start by learning the right vocabulary and brainstorming business ideas that make you excited to wake up in the morning. Get off that corporate ladder and get started today.

Original publish date: September 28, 2016