Glass Ceiling

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Reading an article about the "Glass ceiling" triggered my curiosity, and I began to think how this could affect my daughter and her goals and aspirations. According to the Department of Labor, females account for 43.99% of the workforce as of May 2001, but only a small fraction of women have succeeded in attaining senior level positions. This fact makes it difficult to discount the allegations of inequality between men and women in the workplace, and proves that the effects of the glass ceiling are still prevalent. The glass ceiling has been defined as "an invisible barrier analogous to subtle male discrimination, which was as hard to pin down as it was effective in limiting women."(Steiner 666) While overt discrimination has decreased due to the consequences of legal actions, subtle discrimination on the other hand is still common business practice in many organizations. Case studies have shown that subtle discrimination is based on establishing invisible barriers, which prevent high performing women from reaching their potential. The following factors contribute to the strength of the glass ceiling and prevent it from shattering. The first constraint has been described as "gender based assumptions about careers and aspirations." (McCracken 160) The second hurdle limits the advancement opportunities for high performing and ambitious women. Finally, the absence of formal and informal leadership development and networking possibilities exacerbate the inequality. Gender Based Assumptions. One of the most damaging perceptions is the belief that women are primarily focused on family and their secondary focus is on their career. It is generally an accepted fact that the majority of childcare responsibilities fall on women. This suggests that men are completely focused on work priorities, while women are not that "dependable," because their loyalty is to their families. An example of this perception was given in the Harvard Business...
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