Glass Ceiling

Topics: African American, Race and Ethnicity, Black people Pages: 10 (3024 words) Published: November 3, 2013
The Glass Ceiling
Lack of African American in Executive Positions in Fortune 500
Recent research proves that African Americans are not given the same opportunities in executives’ positions for Fortune 500 Companies. The lack of African Americans representation in the corporate world is due to is a form of discrimination. The government has accepted a new term called the glass ceiling; there is an invisible barrier that has been place over the ladder movement. The purpose of this study is to become aware of the Fortune 500Companies and the systems in America to hinder African Americans in the corporate world.

Lack of African Americans in Executive Positions in Fortune 500 Companies PROBLEM
Why is there still discrimination in America concerning African Americans advancing in the corporate world? Corporations are preaching diversity, which is a leading factor for them to compete globally; however, change has to come first. America is a country whose forefathers gained power and prosperity from the labor and manpower of slaves. Subsequently, Africans migrated to America involuntarily. The Colonists thought of Africans as their property rather than human beings. Even some 400-hundred years later African Americans have to work twice as hard in the corporate world and unfortunately are still not equal to the Europeans (Chima & Wharton, n.d.).

African Americans are not given the same opportunity to advance in the corporate world. The new term for discrimination is the Glass Ceiling, which describes barriers that prevent African Americans from advancing to management positions in corporations and organizations (Hayes, 2006). This research is also informed by the learning of Du Bois, who wrote that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” Du Bois suggested that Blacks in American live double lives, one as Black people subjected to the evil of racism, and the other as Americans living in a land of limitless opportunities.

Study shows that African Americans have a long history of professional disadvantage in the United States comparative to European Americans and that the pattern of professional inequality between African Americans and European Americans continue today (Bigler, Averhart, & Liben, 2003). Introduction

The representation of African Americans in high status skilled and managerial sectors positions is significantly low while the representation of African Americans in low status service positions is substantially high. For example, there is a 40 percent rate of African Americans in managerial, professional, and sales occupations in comparison to the rate of Europeans. However, the rate of African Americans is almost double the rate of Europeans in private household, service, and laborer occupations. Middle-class African Americans who do advance to higher paying jobs often face the “glass ceiling” effect. Unfortunately, African Americans do not have access to the top levels of most professions (Bigler, Averhart, & Liben, 2003). The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission Report for example, revealed that African Americans constitute 0.6% of senior-level managers in Fortune 1000 industrial and Fortune 500 service companies (Bigler, Averhart, & Liben, 2003).

The Fortune 500 is annual list of the 500 largest companies in the United States put together by Fortune magazine. The list is put together using the most recent figures for revenue and includes both public and private companies with publicly available revenue data. A Fortune 500 company is thought of as a mark of prestige. European Americans dominate the position and operate an overwhelming majority of the Fortune 500 companies. However, women and minorities are the individuals keeping operations in business. Fortune 500 companies lack representation of women and minorities in the board rooms. According to Investopedia (2011), the majority of buying and service power in Fortune...

References: Catalyst (2003). Leaders in a global economy: A study of executive women and men. Retrieved from
Catalyst (2011). Changing workplaces. Changing lives. Retrieved from
Chima, F
Investopedia ULC (2011). Fortune 500. Retrieved from
Lockwood, N
Reference for Business. (2011). Retrieved from
The American Psychological Association, Inc
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