Angela Tolmie, the chair of the Scottish Women's Convention (SWC) said listening to women to and taking on board "what they really want and what they really need" was key to tackling these barriers.
She spoke out ahead of the special convention at Holyrood tomorrow to coincide with International Women's Day.
The event will bring together hundreds of women from diverse backgrounds, with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Argentine ambassador to the UK Alicia Castro due to attend.
Comedian Susan Morrison and actress Abby Mavers, who pays Dynasty Barry in the BBC drama Waterloo Road will be among those speaking.
Ms Tolmie, who has been an active campaigner in the women's movement for more than 30 years, said the SWC was "delighted to be able to bring women together from different backgrounds and of diverse ages from throughout Scotland on International Women's Day".
She stated: "There is a feeling that in many ways, women 'have it all'.
"The reality is far from that ideal.
"Significant obstacles still exist across a number of areas such as education, employment and representation in political and public life.
"One of the most important ways of breaking down these barriers is to listen to women and take on board what they really want and what they really need.
"This will not only improve their lives, but the lives of their families and communities as a whole."
Holyrood Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith will chair the event and said it would "celebrate women from various spheres of life coming together to tell their story about what woman want and need".
She added: "We have a diverse and inspirational line-up of speakers including an ambassador, parliamentarian, actor, volunteer and comedian.
"This event will allow each of them to tell their own story and articulate what they needed to overcome any barriers in their respective lives."