Glass Ceiling Topic

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The research team has selected the topic of “Glass ceiling” for the research project. It has been observed that during the last few years a lot of women are going in management field but not a lot of them are getting an opportunity to get into the top management positions. This has got nothing to do with their abilities and dedication to their work, it is clear that glass ceiling is affecting and stopping the women from reaching the top management positions. The problem of glass ceiling persists in the other countries of the world as is clear from the previous researches but this problem is more evident in Pakistan. This is because despite the boom in education sector, the society still remains conservative and negative feelings and stereotypes do exist against women employees. As a result of the glass ceiling, the performance of women employees is also being affected. This is a cause of concern and it is happening because women managers feel that they are not being treated equally. They develop the feelings that their efforts are not being properly rewarded. Due to the presence of pre-defined rules and regulation for promotions women working in public sector are not being affected a great deal by glass ceiling. Thus it is the private sector where the women are facing glass ceiling the most. The significance of this study is that the research team looked into the main problems which are prohibiting the women from going into the top management positions. By identifying the factors causing the problems, the team will be able to judge the reasons and help eradicate them. It is important to look in the organizational factors that would help the women to reach to top management positions as early as they deserve. This study is an effort to not only identify the factors responsible for affecting the performance of women managers through glass ceiling but also to give solutions to over come from this problems.


The term ‘glass ceiling’ refers to the transparent but real and strong barrier which prevents women from moving up in the management hierarchy in an organization (Morrison & Glinow, 1990). The minority of women in senior management has led many researchers to investigate whether glass ceiling barriers such as sexual discrimination, gender wage gap, gender stereotype, harassment and lack of family-friendly workplace policies in the organizations are at play and how these barriers affect the performance of female employees in the organizations (Jeavons & Sevastos, 2002).

The existence of glass ceiling in different organizations, cultures and time span has been confirmed by many researchers. In 1997, Tokunaga & Graham looked at employees in the technical division at one large Fortune 500 corporation and found that female engineers could not advance as far up the corporate hierarchy as did the male engineers, thereby providing evidence for the existence of a “glass ceiling” against women. A research conducted by Veale & Gold (1998) in Metropolitan District Council situated in Yorkshire, UK also confirmed that a glass ceiling did exist within the council and this inhibited women’s progression into senior management.

This existence of a strong glass ceiling effect prevents women to progress in the organizations. A study controlled for previous job experience, education, age, tenure, initial job level and gender showed that even levels of promotions existed for men and women. However, qualitative data showed that women were employed by the organization at a level that was lower than their qualifications, or lower than men doing the same job. Therefore, even with equal rates of promotion, women will not progress as far as men (Jeavons & Sevastos, 2002).

There a number of factors that keeps the glass ceiling in effect. One of them is the gender stereotype. Over the last three decades, Schein (2007) found that gender stereotyping of the managerial position has continued to be the...
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