The Glass Ceiling Effect And Its Impact On WomenPosted on: May 16, 2018, by : xnlamp
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How Prevalent Is the Glass Ceiling Effect?A 2003 report by the federal Glass Ceiling Commission showed that only seven to nine percent of upper management at Fortune 1000 firms were women. According to a 2005 article by Paul Igasak on the Wall Street Journals Career Journal site, a similar study showed that 97 percent of top executives at the same companies were white. Clearly, the effect is extremely pervasive throughout all sorts of industries.
Legal challenges and a change in thinking have led many employers to offer additional leave time, some with pay, to new parents as well. Increasingly, companies are also offering additional perks to encourage employees of both genders to find a balance between work and home life. Some of these perks include flexible scheduling, the ability to bring a child to work for the day and even employer-run daycare facilities.
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The mommy track was made largely obsolete by a combination of factors.
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The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 compels employers to grant any eligible employee, male or female, 12 weeks of unpaid leave within any 12 month period for, among other conditions, the birth or adoption of a child. This Act enables women to remain in the workforce following childbirth by allowing them a reasonable period of time to stay at home. Furthermore, the inclusion of men in the protections of the Act allows fathers to stay at home as well. If the family can afford to live on one income for long enough, the parents can alternate their leave, resulting in one parent or the other being at home for the first six months of the childs life.
The glass ceiling effect was first studied in the 1980s and seems to have changed very little in the 20 years that followed. Nonetheless, many companies and activists are working together on the situation. Maintain your focus, be pro-active in determining your own career path and expect that at many companies you will be in for a fight. Change may be happening at a glacial pace, but it is happening. Believe in yourself and work towards your goals. In tandem with others doing the same thing, you can bring about real change in the workplace.
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What Can Employers Do to Fight the Glass Ceiling Effect?If you are in a top position at a company that appears to suffer from the glass ceiling effect, you may wonder what you can do to break down the barrier.
While the issue of the mommy track has largely been addressed, the problem of the glass ceiling effect remains. Women are no longer shunted into a completely different career track. Instead, they find themselves almost – but not quite – reaching the top ranks. The glass ceiling is so named because it is a point beyond which women cannot reach or a ceiling on their advancement. The ceiling is made of glass because the woman can see beyond. In todays lawsuit-driven society, employers hesitate to create a written policy that blatantly discriminates against women.
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In the 1980s, the term glass ceiling was often used in tandem with another term, mommy track. At that time, it was common for women of childbearing age to be considered less motivated and less disciplined than male employees or older females. The perception was that women would take extensive time off or leave the workforce altogether once they had children. If women did return to work, they were believed to be less dedicated employees because of their maternal duties. Thus, many companies shunted young women onto the mommy track, a sort of sideline in which promotions and raises never resulted in the woman being granted duties that could have a real effect on the company.
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Likewise, many top male executives enjoy the status quo and relish their position of power and have personal biases against women who try to intrude on what they see as their territory. Other top male executives see the system as antiquated and unfair and actively strive to break the glass ceiling from above. In short, whether your company is dominated by men or women at the top ranks, personalities are individual and varied. Your path to the top will be unique and will require that you read the situation and work within the system as much as possible.
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Become a part of the managerial network, even if it feels a bit too boys club for your tastes. In short, prove that you are not only highly qualified, but that you are one of them.
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You may have heard of the glass ceiling effect. The glass ceiling is the invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from rising to the highest ranks in a corporation. What you may not realize is just how pervasive the glass ceiling still is, even several years into the 21century. You may also be unaware of the steps you can take to fight this subtle form of discrimination. Here is what every working woman should know about the glass ceiling effect.
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Instead, many of the companies where a glass ceiling exists seem as stymied as the rest of us by how to effectively crack the barrier. It appears that long-standing biases and prejudices are now the cause of the glass ceiling.
What Is the Glass Ceiling Effect?The glass ceiling effect is the pervasive resistance to the efforts of women and minorities to reach the top ranks of management in major corporations. It is unclear exactly who named the phenomenon, but the term was heavily used during the mid-1980s. Women who entered the workforce in large numbers during the late 1970s and early 1980s found themselves unable to advance beyond a certain level of management.
Unfortunately, there are so few top-level positions and the competition is so fierce, final hiring decisions invariably come down to personal feelings. Short of imposing quotas, which can set you up for reverse discrimination lawsuits, there is relatively little you can do. Foster an air of equality at every level of the company. Be sure that women and minorities are fairly represented in any employee development programs that may exist. Actively recruit women if yours if a male-dominated field. Require sensitivity training. In short, fostering a real spirit of gender-blind and color-blind cohesion throughout the company can help in the long run by erasing stereotypes and biases.
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Alternatively, consider working for a female-owned company or start your own. There are a lot of grant programs that are specifically designed to help female-owned businesses get off the ground. If you choose to work for a female-owned company, however, remember that this is no guarantee that your struggles will be any less. Some women who become successful develop a hard edge and bitterness and feel that they clawed their way to the top and so should every woman after them. Of course, other female top executives feel the exact opposite and strive to make things easier for women who follow.
What Can an Individual Do to Combat the Glass Ceiling Effect?Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed strategies that will help an individual break through the glass ceiling. Although there are certainly exceptions to every rule, by and large both women and minorities should expect that their climb to the top will be difficult. You may need to prove yourself twice as much as your male coworkers, especially if you happen to be both female and a minority. Take on extra assignments, particularly those that are high-profile. Make a point of bonding with the supervisor a level up from your own. Document all of your achievements and present them succinctly at each review.
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Minority men are also affected by this phenomenon. Some Asian groups have taken to calling it the bamboo ceiling, as they are repeatedly passed over for promotions in favor of less-qualified white men.
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