The Sky Is The Limit: 6 Personality Traits You Need To Break That Glass Ceiling

Want to break the glass ceiling and be successful? According to a study done by researchers at talent management consulting firm Caliper, you will need 6 personality traits in order to be able to do that.

They asked 85 women with a senior vice president position or above to take a personality test and several surveys that explored their success in different performance areas. The findings in this study were that there are 6 personality traits that these women shared. So if you want to be the next Angela Ahrendts, Kelly Cutrone, Marissa Mayer or Angela Merkel, this list is what you need!

This is glamorous


If you want to have that top position, you will need to be assertive and know what you stand for. Do not let people walk all over you, stick up for yourself and do all that in a rational way.


Aggressiveness is often seen as a negative trait, but it is one of the key characteristics for a woman if you want to be successful. It does not mean that you need to be mean, violent or rude, what it does mean is that you need to be aggressive in a constructive way.


If you lack empathy your success means nothing, just like Angela Ahrendts said ‘listen to the people around you’. Successful women are aggressive and assertive, but can also empathize with the feelings of others and act on that. Everyone has their strengths, but also weaknesses and both must be addressed and recognized.


Do not mix this up with ‘big ego’ or arrogance. Ego strength is simply knowing your abilities, knowing your strengths and having confidence in your problem solving ability to overcome difficult situations.


In order to inspire and motivate your team day-after-day, you will need to have some serious energy. No matter how tired your are – being tired and weary are two aspects that unfortunately will come along with top positions – you need to be able to get yourself together, re-energize yourself and pass your energy on to the people around you. How are you otherwise supposed to keep your team on track?


Next to all the previous traits, you also will need to have a high-stress tolerance and be comfortable to be able in a high-stress environment.

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Featured image: Maria Dubova

  • Lauren

    I definitely need assertiveness and stress balance – both go hand in hand really!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Fashion Beauty –

  • Dani

    I’m a little bit of a passive aggressive. I really struggle with being a bit more assertive. Definitely something to work on!

  • Marloes

    Totally agree with this list! It’s a process though… Perseverance, on top of these 6 great qualities, is key in my opinion.

    – X Marloes

  • Rita

    Great post! I love you the saying, “the sky is the limit” the thought of this make want to do all that i’m doing. I need to work on my aggressiveness and energy and in my case it has to do with the lack of sleep and exercising. three things i’m looking more into to help me get there are yoga, meditation and healthy eating.
    Thanks for sharing!
    – Rita :)

  • Barbs LeCupcake

    These traits are very admirable indeed and surely useful to have/improve, especially Stress tolerance!!
    Want to know my two steps to success ? Even though I’m afraid you know them already haha


  • Kat

    Great post, I think everyone should be a little more empathic towards others. On a minor note, I find the picture confusing, I don’t see how a picture of someone sitting, or better yet a picture of someones knees, constitutes as representing the points you address. Am I missing something?

  • Blizzard Girl

    Number 6 is definitely one of my weaknesses I get stressed so easily!


  • Una

    This is very useful! Added to my bookmarks
    Thanks for sharing


  • Saria

    Very good tips!
    SJay // The Chronic Dreamer | A Lifestyle Blog

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