I'm in a different field with different hierarchy, but I've found mentoring to be hugely helpful in getting some impartial advice about what is missing in my CV in terms of making the next step. Your line manager (or whatever they are called) will never be able to give you completely impartial advice as they will be influenced by the department's interestes (and their own). A mentor from a completely separate part of the organisation would be useful.
I think sometimes what it takes is for you to leave to take up that level of role somewhere else, because if you aren't at that level already, the business might not have a perception of you as being at that level and it can therefore seem like too much of a step up if that makes sense? My DH is in a similar position - very senior, fantastic performance reviews etc., but for whatever reason that important promotion doesn't seem to be on the horizon where he is currently. If you've been there for a while, you might not be looked upon with that extra level of seniority which you could perhaps walk into elsewhere.
Absolutely have the conversation where you are though - once they know your ambitions lie at a higher level, they might be more likely to think of you in that way.
I've never heard that term either. In organisations I've work in/with, there has only been one or two at CEO/COO level, then below that, Directors heading divisions/regions etc
If you're talking CEO level, then obviously that kind of role doesn't come up very often at all in any organisation. Has there been recruitment at that level recently and you were not successful? Did you ask for feedback?
if you mean Director of a division type level, again, the Director level post at the head of whatever department/division/area you work in probably doesn't come up that often, has that been recruited for recently?
I'm assuming if your husband thinks they are 'taking the piss' that you have been through a couple of recruitment procedures to those type of posts?
I agree that getting yourself a mentor etc would probably be a good idea, but if you have been disappointed recently that implies that there has been recent change in the posts that would be a possibility for you internally, so if you haven't started already, you probably need to start looking elsewhere.
I assume that you've made it known that, that is what you want, I.e. Sitting down with line manager and discussing how to make it happen and the time frame. Also, ask someone on the board to be your mentor. Will get your face known and you will have a supporter.
Can you get yourself a secondment/ 6 month stint in another division at that level ? Are you getting yourself known outside your company eg writing articles for your trade press / non-exec role in another company?
I think you subtly need to show you have value to others to inspire them to value you more.