The saying, ‘Lonely At The Top’ is true for women now more than ever. Why? There simply aren’t enough women moving in forward motion. Now, some of you may totally disagree but let’s look at the facts.

Women outnumber men in the workplace but show up in less than 10 percent of senior level positions within their companies. More than 50% of the companies in the S&P 100 have no female representation in their highest paid executive positions. A July 2010 Womenomics 101 Survey found that Apple, Intel, Exxon and Citigroup are among the major American companies that have no women on their Executive Committee (positions that report directly to the CEO).

Women have been fighting their way to the top only to be unfairly scrutinized, shunned, and toppled by men AND other women. Knowing this makes it difficult for women to travel this road much less arrive at the ‘C’ destination.

What does it take for a woman to get into the ‘C’ arena?

There are 5 beliefs, mindsets, and actions that a woman must have or take to arrive safely in the C-suite.

1. Stay flexible to keep your balance. Remember the Kenny Roger’s song, The Gambler “know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em?” Hold your cards close to your heart. Keep your balance by evaluating what you do and the consequences that follow. Recognize how and when to adapt. It’s smart to know when to keep a poker face. Protecting yourself from people who want to see you fall is what smart women do.

2. Build a solid individual identity. Know who you are and who you aren’t. Sure you are this or that but do you really know who you are not? Are you willing to tell a lie to get something done? What significant parts of you are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? Should you have to? Be prepared to accept your uniqueness and the differences you present to your employer.

3. Be a self-directed learner. Information and knowledge are necessary. Experience is critical. Add confidence and self-assurance to the mix and you have power. Sure, you should learn everything you can about your company. But you also need to focus on learning about people. What makes them tick? How can you influence them?
Learn how the world is changing and what that means for you. What challenges will that present? Gather data and information, apply your knowledge, and then relate your learning to your work.

4. Position your boundaries. Knowing where ‘personal you’ and ‘professional you’ begin and end is wise. Yes, people will tell you, “Be yourself everywhere you are.” Of course, you are who you are. But nobody in the company cares that you want to attend an American Idol concert or need to find out if your spouse is cheating.

Show off your business know-how and your great style. Stay connected to who you are but exercise good judgment in what, when and with whom you share the intimate details.

5. Match your values. If your core values, beliefs and goals do not coincide with the company’s, you are in trouble. This leads to resentment, frustration and constantly trying to convince yourself otherwise. This wastes your time and integrity. Do your research ahead of signing up for that great company. If there isn’t a match, continue your search for the right corporate ladder.

Having women in the C-suite gives every organization the opportunity to thrive on collaboration, addressing new challenges and risks, and create positive mindsets without aggression or negative attitudes.

But first you need to get there. The path isn’t an easy one but a possible one. Incorporating these 5 shifts into your C-level progression will pave the way to making this ‘road less traveled’ a road traveled by many women.

Author's Bio: 

Influence and persuasion expert, Karen Keller, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Master Certified Coach with over 25 years of experience. She focuses on women's leadership and empowerment as well as executive, personal, relationship and life coaching. She is also a successful entrepreneur and author. Her other areas of specialization include mentoring, sales techniques, success skills, intuition, body language, management development training, motivational speaking, and corporate training. Discover Influence It! Real POWER for Women now! For your free subscription visit