Sunday, January 24, 2010

Women and the Glass Ceiling

The phrase "glass ceiling" refers to an invisible barrier towards higher positions in the workforce which is especially imposed upon women. The Glass Ceiling Commission was created under the Civil Rights Acts of 1991. It was made to help understand and recommend ways to eliminate the barrier between female and minority workers and male workers. Men are more likely to become promoted in businesses than women, and women are seen to be underrepresented in firms. According to "US Women: Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling" by Norma Carr-Ruffino, "40 percent of US managers are women and only 5% of top level managers are women" (Carr-Ruffino). Women are reaching career advancements in a slow pace and are given less opportunities to help their careers compared to men employees.

Discrimination among the workplace is a big issue; therefore, there are recommendations to help even out the equality. Some reasons to why women are being limited by the glass ceiling is due to managers' stereotypes especially towards women's credibility and career commitment. Also, there are questions regarding a woman's decision- making ability. In order to decrease these assumptions towards women in the workforce, sensitization programs should be included at work to help get rid of the myths regarding to a woman's lack of dedication and capabilities. In addition, management training should be open to both male and female employees; equal opportunity policies should also be present in order to help equally qualify workers and boost competition for the management positions. Women have as much capabilities as men, and women should not be limited in the workforce due to stereotypes and myths.


  1. I think it is interesting how women are considered less able to fulfill a management position than men because we are considered too sensitive. This was also present in the last presidential election. Hilary Clinton was considered many things by the voters. Some said she was too soft, others called her aggressive. But either way you look at it, she was being assigned an excess of one type of emotion or another. I think the voters were too scared that she would become an emotional or menopausal mess while in the position, rather than even caring about her politics. In the American mentality, men are considered more able to protect than women, and I think that people would somehow have felt less safe with Hilary Clinton as president. Perhaps this is why there are so many glass ceilings for women? That we are less able to make people feel safe.

  2. I believe gender discrimination is more subtle and pervasive than many people realize. Interestingly, in addition to men discriminating against women, I have also seen women discriminate against other women in favor of men based on their unconscious beliefs and attitudes.