Glass Ceiling essay

glass ceiling / management / discrimination / stereotype

Essay Topic:

The definition and analysis of the management term “glass ceiling”.

Essay Questions:

Who was the first to introduce the term Glass Ceiling? What is the most widespread definition of the Glass Ceiling? How are the stereotypes destroyed with the help of Glass Ceiling?

Thesis Statement:

This discriminative barrier is called the “glass veiling” because the barrier is transparent, but at the same time so solid that is able to stop women and the representatives of different minorities from advancing throughout the management hierarchy of a given company.


Glass Ceiling essay


"The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting."

Civil Rights Act

Introduction: The Glass Ceiling is a term of the American management system, which was defined for the first time in the 80th. It was primarily used to describe the “invisible barrier” that prevented women from significant career achievements, therefore was considered to be a form of discrimination. This discriminative barrier is called the “glass veiling” because the barrier is transparent, but at the same time so solid that is able to stop women and the representatives of different minorities from advancing throughout the management hierarchy of a given company.

A group of stereotypes that give women a subordinated and service-providing role have been formed historically. According to these stereotypes, men a perceived as a dominating and aggressive sex with a pushy behavior so important in business. This stereotype created the myth that the success men achieve is the result of greater abilities and intellectual supremacy over women. Men tend to estimate their work as a harder compared to the work of women occupying similar posts. It is also believed that women are oriented on the interpersonal relations and not on the completion of the task and men vice versa. So does the glass ceiling still exist nowadays? Some women claim it does, some from those who have achieved any success in business say it is all about persistence. Of course it is hard to negate its minimal presence in the contemporary business world, but the key factor that though its rudiment may still exist their “nature” has quite changed and the number of women-business owners has significantly grown as compared to the 80th – which ahs made the glass ceiling weaker than ever1.There is no base for talking about the “glass ceiling” if a women does not have enough knowledge in certain filed of knowledge to be “better” employee that a man. “Women should be encouraged to study engineering, science, technology, and other fields traditionally dominated by men… Experienced employees…could ensure the growth of the pool of qualified females by mentoring young women”[2]. This would guarantee that a woman would become as competitive as a male-employee of the same organization.

Anita Blair’s “Shattering the myth of the glass ceiling” does an outstanding job in showing how easily all these career stereotypes can be destroyed. I agree with Anita that women have more chance to get education than before, they go out to work, the wage gap narrows, they are working better than men in certain industries and there appear jobs that are intended for women only. The number of women owing businesses is increasing. For instance Carleton S. Fiorina, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, even being as successful as she is states that: ”There is no need to focus on my gender in discussing the appointment…we are at the point now where everyone has figured out that the accomplishments of women across the industry demonstrate that there is not a “glass ceiling"[3]. The major different between the 80th and the present times is the women nowadays go to college and truly study creating a decent competition to men. It is impossible to deny that men truly were the dominant gender fro many years and it is just the way it used to be before and for a long time women seemed to be okay with that. Therefore the “glass ceiling” factor appears to be outdated now2.It goes without saying that the fact that”…women own only 1 percent of the world’s wealth, and earn 10 percent of the world’s income, despite making up 49.5% of the population” is rather impressive [4]. If a woman is not as professional as a man should the employees give a preference to her just not to be blamed in discrimination?3

Conclusion: Nowadays, women do really have more opportunities to study and become highly professional employees. Another issue is that women aside from their career usually have a family and children to take care of. And is it fair to keep talking about the “glass ceiling” if women physically cannot dedicate as much time to work as men do? Women have “distractive” factors that men will never have such a pregnancy, childcare and many others and it has nothing to do with the “glass ceiling” but with the “distribution” of gender roles. The share of female seats in national chambers according to the data collected in 2004 equals 15%[5]. Women have to remember that they are born-mothers n the first place. And even this 15% data this is a decent progress able to break the mythological “glass ceiling”!


1 “…According to a recent study by Korn/Ferry International, from 1982 to 1992 the proportion of female executive vice presidents more than doubled, from 4 to 9 percent, and their share of senior vice president positions increased from 13 to 23 percent"[1].

2 “11.2% of corporate officers are women”[5].

3 “…Charges of a "glass ceiling" in the workplace come not from successful women such as Klug, Trudell, and Cortez, but from professional political activists. Women who seek opportunities, run with them, and advance to executive positions are seeing their efforts rewarded while the activists, on the outside looking in, complain”[2].


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