Discuss the problem of women in the glass-ceiling and glass walls.
The concept of a “glass ceiling” has been around for almost 20 years now, without much improvement in the issue – either in the amount of women in leadership positions, or the discrepancy in pay between men and women.
For example, in America, in 1979 women earned 62.5 cents for every dollar that a man yearned. By 1993 they were earning 77.1 cents for every dollar, although it slipped down to 75 cents and is continuing to decline. That’s not a great improvement considering the fact that women are actually getting more education than their male counterparts. The amount of women enrolled in college and universities increased, yet they still only hold 46.5% of the jobs and less than 8% of senior management positions.
There are a few reasons that the glass ceiling still exists: *
Exclusion from Networking: Although it may seem ridiculous, and a bit sexist – men conduct many networking activities and sales meetings on the golf course, at bars, and even at strip clubs. These informal networking events typically exclude women and keep them from forming relationships with their peers and management. This in turn leaves them further down the list when it comes to promotions and leading further projects. *
Stereotypes: Unfortunately many men in upper management positions are still hesitant to promote women for fear of their emotions, cattiness, and the perceived notion that they will often take time off to care for their family. *
Desire for Flexibility and Independence: Although women are not seen often leading Fortune 1000 companies, over one third of all business are owned by women. This shows the determination of women, but also gives us insight into the flexibility and independence that women often strive for. They want to determine their own hours and they want to answer to themselves. This desire often moves women out of the corporate world or it causes conflict with a management structure that relies on set times and little freedom. *
Lack of Role Models: Unfortunately most of the leadership positions are still held by men, leaving women very few role models to learn from. Often times women will take on a more masculine attitude in order to move up the corporate ladder, because that is how they see their colleagues being promoted. Women need mentors and role models to learn from. *
Inability to Reenter Workforce: Since women are still the majority of caretakers, both children and elderly parents, they often have to take breaks from their career to fulfill this role. This in run hinders their ability to reenter the workforce, often requiring further education or starting off in a new career path. That lost time is rarely recovered and can often see women stuck somewhere in middle management while their male peers are much further along.