ual binary is a persistent feature of the workplace today and the glass ceiling is an implicit manifestation of the impediments that women face in the labor force. According to Paige Churchman, renowned feminist theorist Gay Bryan coined the term glass ceiling many decades ago to describe the invisible barriers to professional advancement that women face in the labor force. Although women have entered the paid labor force in record numbers, attainting leadership roles in a corporate environment remains a challenge and invisible barriers impeded their development. While women hope to lead by example and advance professionally, the challenges that they face today are less overt than they once were but remain important impediments to their full professional advancement (Churchman, 2009).
According to Women at Work, Leadership for the Next Century, the glass ceiling is a phenomenon which invisible, artificial barriers to the professional advancement of women remain the greatest impediments to their growth within an organization (Smith, 1999). The glass ceiling is arguably the most important impediment to the professional development of women in the 21st century and it is predicated upon the sexual binary. The glass ceiling is an important challenge for women in the paid labor force because it is implicit and limits their opportunities for professional advancement. While discrimination and sexual harassment are often explicit barriers to the full inclusion of women within the paid labor force, the entry of women into paid labor in record numbers has not resulted in complete equality. According to Nora Frenkel more than 25 years ago, “women have reached a certain point. I call it the glass ceiling. There isnt enough room for all those women at the top,” (Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000, 127). The glass ceiling, in addition to “pink collar ghettos”, are important yet often ignored aspects of the challenges women face in the labor force today. These metaphors