Wikipedia defines glass ceiling as situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is halted at a particular level because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism. The term glass ceiling was first used by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt in an article published in Wall Street Journal on 24th march 1986…
Women however insisted that it was real and no matter how hard they work a time comes when they no longer get promoted to higher management positions. This glass ceiling prevents untold number of qualified people from advancing in the corporate hierarchies. It may be invisible but it sure is impenetrable (Wallace, n.p.).
Colleen O'Neill, partner of Mercer Human Resource Consulting says: "Everyone in the U.S. is very focused on gender, and corporate boards are pushing for more equity [at the highest levels],"(Farell, n.p.)
Companies think that if they hire women their profits will go down. Surveys show different results. Convent Investment Management did a study of Standard and Poors 500 and found that companies which promoted women and minorities had a return of about 18.3 percent over a five year period whereas companies which did not promote women and minors had a return of only 7.9 percent. The reason is simple. First of all the management in the first case had a diverse pool of people to choose from as they considered women and minors also, where as in the second case, the company did not fully utilize human capital. Secondly, treating the workers properly results in better productivity and higher morale. 95 percent of senior-level managers of the top Fortune 1000 industrial and 500 service companies are men even though women get almost half of all the Master's degrees. Out of these 95 percent, 97 percent are whites (U.S Glass Ceiling Commission, 6)
In order to compete in a diversified marketplace companies need to fully utilize human capital. By excluding women these companies also exclude extraordinary amount of talent, creativity and productivity. Today, women are trying to seek more satisfying and rewarding jobs and if they do not find what they are looking for they try to set up their own businesses. Women are leaving the corporate sector twice the rate men are leaving and they are also forming new businesses at the same rate. Since 1990, there has been an increase of about 43% in Women Business Owners. Women own about 7.7 million firms.
These statistics show that these women were experienced, skilled, educated and enthusiastic as they had opened up their own businesses. But due to this glass ceiling and unsatisfying jobs they were forced to leave their jobs and seek another option. It was a loss for the companies and not for these women.
Nora Frankiel says: "Women have reached a certain point -- I call it the glass ceiling. They're in the top of middle management and they're stopping and getting stuck. There isn't enough room for all those women at the top. Some are going into business for themselves. Others are going out and raising families."
Why does glass ceiling persist The answer varies. It is a ...
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