In a perfect world, everyone with the passion, skill, and willingness to work hard would have his or her dream job -- and a dream salary to match. Reality, of course, is often quite different. But there's a world of difference between making less than you want (or even less than you're worth) and making nothing at all. And yet, for people in the arts, this is often the pitch: work for nothing, hoping that exposure or another project for your portfolio will lead you to real, paying work down the road. The question, of course, is whether or not it's ever worth it to do so. After all, you can't pay the rent with exposure.
Climbing to the top of the professional ladder is hard enough for any worker, but when that worker is a woman, the challenges increase exponentially. According to an article published by Women on Business, "As of 2010, only 2.4 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 chief executives were female [and] only 6 percent of U.S. companies have a woman CEO." As a result, we're always impressed when we read about a woman who has ascended to a principal position at a large firm. We want to hear her story, learn from her experiences, and be inspired in our own career pursuits. Here are five tips from powerful businesswomen who overcame the odds and broke through the glass ceiling.