The Glass Ceiling Effect and its Impact on Women

Minorities and women face an unseen barrier in the form of the glass ceiling, which prevents them from rising to the highest levels of corporate leadership. You understand the significance of the glass ceiling. After many decades, you may be astonished to realize how pervasive the glass ceiling is in the twenty-first century. Additionally, you might need to be aware of the actions you can take to combat this subliminal form of discrimination. The glass ceiling effect is something that every working woman should be mindful of.

What Affects the Glass Ceiling?

The glass ceiling effect hinders the advancement of women and people of color to executive positions in large organizations. Women of childbearing age were considered less committed to their jobs and less disciplined than males or older women. Women were expected to take significant time off or leave the workforce after having children.

The phenomena were heavily manipulated in the mid-1980s. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, many women entered the labor sector but faced significant barriers to reaching upper management positions. The phrases "glass ceiling" and "mommy track" were used interchangeably in the 1980s. It was assumed that mothers would be less committed to their careers if they went back to work.

As a consequence, many businesses relegated young women to the "mother track," an unimportant career path where they had few opportunities for advancement. Several events mostly made the original track outdated.

Employer-provided childcare facilities, flexible work schedules, and parental leave are all examples of these advantages. Although progress has been made in addressing the mommy track, the perception of a glass ceiling still exists. Women are no longer restricted from pursuing any number of professions. On the contrary, they learn that they are on the verge of ascending to power. As a result of the "glass ceiling," women's advancement is stunted after they reach a certain point. The woman has a clear line of sight through the transparent roof. Companies are wary of creating overtly sexist policies in today's litigious climate.

Employees who qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 are given 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year for a variety of reasons, including the birth or adoption of a child. Women who have taken maternity leave will be able to return to work thanks to this legislation. The Act allows both mothers and dads to stay home with their newborns for up to six months if the family can get by on just one income. Several companies now provide paid leave to new parents as a result of a shift in policy and the law. More and more companies are offering financial rewards to men and women who successfully juggle work and family responsibilities.

Conversely, many companies that have hit a glass barrier don't seem to be any closer to breaking through it than any of their competitors. The glass ceiling appears to be caused by prejudice and discrimination. Even more so, this problem affects men of races. The term "bamboo ceiling" is used by certain Asian groups to describe how less-qualified white men are more commonly given promotions.

How Common Is the Impact of the Glass Ceiling?

Industries all over will feel the effects. Just 7 to 9 percent of Fortune 1000 businesses' top executives were women in 2003, according to a study by the federal Glass Ceiling Commission. Ninety-seven percent of those in executive positions at the same companies were white.

What Can a Person Do to Prevent the Impact of the Glass Ceiling?

Connect with the superior who is above you in the organizational chart. Maintain a running tally of your successes and provide a succinct summary at each review. It's unfortunate that there are no failsafe strategies for breaking through the roof. Minorities and women, in general, should expect that the path to the top will not be simple, but there are always exceptions to every rule. A woman who is also a member of a minority group may have to prove herself twice as valuable as a man in order to get equal pay. Take on more tasks, particularly if they're important or high-profile. Some powerful women become jaded and resentful, certain that they earned their position the hard way and that everyone else should do the same.

Even if the managerial network seems a little too "boys club" for your liking, join it. Simply put, demonstrate that you are one of them and highly qualified. You might also try your hand at entrepreneurship or seek employment with a firm run by women. There are a number of grant programs that exist just to help women get their businesses off the ground. It's important to keep in mind that just because a business is run by women doesn't guarantee you won't encounter obstacles. Some in positions of authority have the opposite view and strive to make it easier for women to follow in their footsteps.

Equally, many powerful male CEOs like the status quo, relish their control, and have biases towards women who they believe are invading their territory. There are other male CEOs who are working to break the glass barrier from the top down because they believe the present structure is sexist and outmoded. In conclusion, personalities are unique and diverse, regardless of whether men or women control the top positions in your firm. You will need to read the situation carefully and do your best to operate smoothly within the system on your road to the top.

What Can Companies Do to Combat the Impact of the Glass Ceiling?

If you work in a position of authority at a business that seems to be affected by the "glass ceiling effect," you might wonder how to overcome the barrier.

The glass ceiling effect was initially investigated in the 1980s, and in 20 years, not much has changed. Yet, many businesses and activists are collaborating to address the issue. Keep your concentration, take the initiative in choosing your career path, and be prepared for conflict with numerous employers. Sadly, because there are so few top-level roles and intense competition, final hiring decisions are almost always based on subjective judgments.

There is little you can do outside of setting quotas, which could lead to lawsuits alleging reverse discrimination. Encourage a culture of equality throughout the entire organization. Ensure that your employee development initiatives fairly reflect women and minorities. If there is a male predominance in your field, actively attract women. Need to be sensitively trained. In other words, by eradicating stereotypes and biases, building a genuine culture of gender-blind and color-blind cohesion within the organization can be beneficial in the long rethought. It may go slowly, but change is nevertheless occurring. Set goals for yourself and have confidence in yourself. You may affect a genuine difference in the workplace by working with others who are taking similar action.

Updated on: 31-Mar-2023


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