IS THERE A GLASS CEILING?

Glass ceiling is a metaphor that is used to represent invisible barrier that prevents women from reaching the highest executive levels within their respective organizations. This term was first popularized in the 80’s to describe the challenges women face when their respective careers.

The United States Federal Glass Ceiling Commission defines the glass ceiling as “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements”.

REASONS WHY IT STILL EXIST:

  • Psychological differences between men and women would be the main reason for this and it can account for up to 10 percent pay gap.
  • The need child care, housework and other chores outside of work depend heavily on women than on men which eventually leads them taking the back seat.
  •  College-educated women, more often than men, avoid majors that lead to higher-earning occupations.
  • Women are still expected to be deferential, polite and timid.

EFFECTS:

It leads to unwanted

  • Stress
  • Self doubt
  • Sense of Isolation
  • Depression
  • Sadness

CRACKING THE CEILING:

However nowadays women are appointed in higher positions faster than men in high income countries, but data shows that women have still a long way to go and equalize the number of men in these roles. Also the fact that bigger the company, lesser we are to see women at the helm which has to overcome and there is a need to achieve something closer to gender balance. Raise your voice. It is you who have to stand up for yourself. Also, apart from standing up for yourself try to raise awareness and address the problem so that others can also benefit from it. One can also crack this stereotype by normalizing the practice of parental leave. A study by the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation in Sweden found that a mother’s earnings increase by about 7%  for each additional month her spouse takes off work. Pair that with the fact that 87% of women want men to take the parental leave available to them. Recruit equally across all levels and departments

At the end of the day, companies win when women and other underrepresented minorities are treated with fairness. When they focus on fairness and opportunity for all, everyone wins