Dallas Baptist University
Throughout the span of American history is can be said with confidence that the roles of genders have played a huge role in both the success and downfall of this great nation. From the rural up brings of the Puritans to the successful businessmen and women, politicians, and leaders that have propelled the Untied States to becoming a super power and force to be reckoned with in the world, we are still facing the unfortunate debacle of treating women differently or inferior when it comes to leadership positions. Some of our greatest leaders such as Mary Kay, Condalisa Rice, and Irene Rosenfied have been women that have sprung up within the last century in business, poetics, and education. Along with the increase in female leaders we are seeing that may of these women are becoming CEO and Vice Presidents of some of the largest corporations in the United States, for example, Kraft Foods, PepsiCo, Avon, and even Google. Whether this philosophy is motivated by a religious mindset or the threat of emasculating the male gender, the question must be asked are women treated differently in leadership positions and more importantly why? Therefore it is important to take the research conducted in this paper and accurately analyze research supporting and opposing the belief that women are in fact treated differently in leadership positions as well as efforts at correcting this wrong and the ethical analysis of the issues at hand. The Glass Ceiling
According to the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, the term glass ceiling is referred to as “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements” (FGCC 4). Since the beginnings of America, freedoms have been the catalysts for change. It goes without saying that the male-dominated society has an overwhelming tendency, which translates in to treating women as second-class citizens with definite restricted physical and intellectual freedoms compared to men, who have been “afforded” with such great abilities. For a country that speaks to be the land of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, it seems that all three of these guiding principles have some limitations, of course for the “lower” class of women.
The idea for equality for women in the work force began during the tumultuous 1960s, which included the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Liberation Movement, and the Youth Revolt. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 deemed sexual discrimination in the work place illegal, in hopes that it would afford women to rise in the world of working once they had gained proper experience, either through education or actual work experience. Unfortunately this did not seem to matter to many business as they slowly allowed women to being working, however put a small barrier between upper level management and women. Research on women in the work force did not begin until the 1970s right around the time when women were becoming managers and consumed about 16 percent of the management positions in the United States (Delvin 24). Although the term “glass ceiling” was not actually coined until the 1980s, two distinct dimensions were formulated by the federal government (Naff 507). The first dimension formulated by the federal government on the glass ceiling affect was the nature of barriers that limit women’s advancement. These were things such as education, work experience, gender, and even life experience. The second dimension was women’s own perspective of the treatment in the work place (507).
Unfortunately many Americans believe that discrimination based upon gender no longer exists or is prevalent in the twenty-first century however that is not the case. In July of 1999, Hewlett Packard, the world’s second-largest computer company,...