The Glass Ceiling

Topics: Leadership, Management, White people Pages: 7 (2473 words) Published: July 16, 2013
The Glass Ceiling
Webster University

This paper addresses two articles, Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership written by Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli, and A Modest Manifesto for Shattering The Glass Ceiling, written by Debra E. Meyerson and Joyce K. Fletcher. The phrase glass ceiling is described in many articles as a barrier that prevents women from achieving success in their careers. Women are found at the top of middle management and are being denied of higher positions in the corporate ladder and are getting paid less than men for similar type of work. Both articles address the question whether is the glass ceiling the reason why women are not getting advancement in their careers or it is the sum of many obstacles that hold women back into the high level jobs. According to the authors of both articles, the answer to this question is that it is not the glass ceiling the barrier for women’s advancement. To understand and overcome these barriers, the authors of the articles have used terms such as labyrinth and small wins strategy. According to Meyerson and Fletcher, it is not the glass ceiling but the organizational structures and its hidden barriers to equity and effectiveness what are holding back women. This paper will explore the author’s recommendations for overcoming these barriers and for helping women prevail by changing workplace’s practices in organizations.

The two articles chosen to write this abstract have been selected from the Harvard Business Review. In the first article, Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership, the word labyrinth is described as a contemporary symbol that “conveys the idea of a complex journey toward a goal worth striving for” (Walls all around section, para. 1). If women are able to understand the barriers in this labyrinth, they will be able to overcome many obstacles they encounter. Throughout awareness and persistency during the process, women will have a much better chance to obtain their desirable goals in their careers. In the article A Modest Manifesto for Shattering The Glass Ceiling, the authors mentioned that is very rare to find women holding high level positions in organizations. Women represent only 10% of senior manager positions in Fortune 500 companies. According to Meyerson and Fletcher, the best way to destroy this glass ceiling is throughout the use of the small wins approach. Main Issues

In the article Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership, the term labyrinth is described as what women have to go through in the workplace to be able to occupy high level roles. Woman who desire top positions, will encounter barriers during the journey, and some of them will be able to find solutions to those obstacles to improve the situation. Some of the obstacles or barriers named in the article are (a) prejudice; (b) resistance to women’s leadership; (c) leadership style;(d) demands of family life; (e) underinvestment in social capital. Prejudice

The beginning of the labyrinth starts here with prejudices that hurt women and help men. Women in this country, with full time positions, earn 81 cents for every dollar than men earned (Vestiges of prejudice section, para. 1). Research has been done by many professionals seeking an answer to explain the difference in pay between genders. One of the most comprehensive studies, from the Government Accountability office, showed that men worked more hours per year and also had more years of experience (Vestiges of prejudice, para. 3). Even though variables such as marriage, parenthood and years of education were adjusted for both genders, the study showed a gender gap that lead to wage discrimination (Vestiges of Prejudice section, para. 4). According to Eagly and Carli, men are promoted more quickly than women with equivalent qualifications even in female settings such as social work and education (para.5). The authors add that “White men were more likely to attain managerial positions than...

References: Eagly, A. H., Carli, L.L. (2007). Harvard business review. Women and the labyrinth of leadership. Retrieved from
Greenhaus, J. H., Callanan, G.A., Godshalk, V.M. (2010). Career management. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE publications Inc.
Meyerson, D. E., Fletcher, J.K. (2000). Harvard business review. A Modest manifesto for shattering the glass ceiling. Retrieved from
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