Invisible but real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached by a section of qualified and deserving employees. Such barriers exist due to implicit prejudice on the basis of age, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, and/or sex. Although generally illegal, such practices prevalent in most countries.
While the phrase glass ceiling is metaphorical, many women who find themselves bumping their heads on it find it very real indeed. It is most often used to describe the sexist attitude many women run into at the workplace. In a discussion of ascending the corporate ladder, the word “ceiling” implies that there is a limit to how far someone can climb it. Along with this implied barrier is the idea that it is glass, meaning that, while it is very real, it is transparent and not obvious to the observer. The term glass ceiling is most often applied in business situations in which women feel, either accurately or not, that men are deeply entrenched in the upper echelons of power, and women, try as they might, find it nearly impossible to break through. Reasons for the glass ceiling:
-women lacked required skills and experience.
- They were restricted to clerical and other support services jobs. Mid-late 90s
-Trends started to change
-more women took up higher education in management
- looked for careers in operating area
-debate over the existence of the glass ceiling began.
* Cultural issues
* -male chauvinism
* Corporate organisations do not favour women
* Unwritten rule of not employing women.
Women managers are today praised for:
-good team work
-good communication skills
-style of management
Types of glass ceiling barriers include:
1) Different pay for comparable work
2) Sexual, ethnic, racial, religious discrimination or harassment in the work place 3) Lack of family friendly workplace policies
4) Exclusion from informal networks, Stereotyping and preconceptions of women’s roles and responsibilities, Failure of senior management to assume accountability for women’s advancement. The glass ceiling
As more women enter the workforce their failure to reach the highest management position has become the cause for considerable research and debate. Today women are better educated and hold more jobs worldwide than ever before yet most women suffer from occupational segregation in the workplace and can rarely break through the so called “glass ceiling” separating them from senior level management and professional positions. The glass ceiling is a barrier so subtle that it is transparent yet so strong that it prevents women and minorities from moving the managerial hierarch. It is not simply a barrier based on a person’s inability to handle higher level jobs; it applies to women as a group who are kept from advancing higher simply because they are women. There are major organisational barriers that constitute the glass ceiling including 1) a non supportive work environment,
2) treating differences as weaknesses,
3) Excluding people from activities because of their differences 4) And failure to help individuals with balancing work and personal life issues. The problems and pressures that have been identified as unique to women consist of being test cases for future women, lack of role models, feelings of isolation, and strains of coping with prejudice and sex stereotyping and overt and indirect discrimination by other employees. It is believed that working women suffer from more stress then working men. The sources of that stress are related to the actual role of women in today’s society and to the fact that women still occupy the minority in an organisation. The most basic force to be considered is social context. Throughout history a patriarchal social system in which the male has the...