Glass ceiling

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Definition: metaphore, the term glass ceiling refers to situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is stopped at a lower level because of some form of discrimination.

Most commonly sexism or racism, but since the term was created, "glass ceiling" has also come to describe the limited advancement of the deaf, blind,disabled, and aged.

In a discussion of ascending the corporate ladder, the word « ceiling » implies that there is a limit to how far someone can climb it.

It is believed to be an unofficial, invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from advancing in businesses. This invisible barrier continues to exist, even though there are no explicit obstacles keeping minorities from acquiringadvanced job positions.

There are not formal orders saying « we don’t want to hire black, women for this position ».

When does it come from?

1st used in article in Adweek, wrote by Gary Bryant, in 1984. A term which became a permanent part of the American lexicon, intensified by an article in 1986, published in the Wall Street Journal.

2. Glass ceiling

The terme GC had been taken veryseriously by the Department of Labor when they used a definition of it to organized a Glass ceiling Commission in an effort to « level the playing field ».

Since, Glass Ceiling expression has known extension of it, for specific situation:
Glass elevator, implying that there is an invisible vehicle that transports men up through the ranks of corporate power
Glass cliff to a position that awoman may take that will put her in the precarious position of utter professional disaster if she fails

3. TYPES of GC barriers

✓ Different par for comparable work and qualifications
✓ Sexual, ethnic, racial, religious discriminiation in the workplace
✓ Lack of family-friendly workplace policies
✓ Exclusion of informal networks

Illustration of glass ceiling, with somefigures:
20% less of pay roll for women
Only 14% of top executives are women

As you can see this is a broad subject that is why we chose to focus on women situation.

4. Women and GC

It‘s a complex situation
You know, that CG It is most often used to describe the sexist attitude many women run into at the workplace.

What is said about it?
While many women insist that the glassceiling is a real barrier to accessing male dominated positions in business many challengers say that it exists mostly because
• Women choose to focus more of their time on family and, in the end cannot dedicate as much time to their careers.
Other claim that women think they want to focus on their career, but in reality chooses family over career.

Quoting a 2008 report,

• 43% ofhighly qualified educated women with children left their jobs voluntarily at some stage of their careers.
• Although 93% wanted to return to their careers, only 74% did so, and
• Only 40% went back to a full time position. Of those women who wanted to return to work, only 5% desired to return to the position they had left.
=> example through a video, firms in the us

5. THE COSTSIf a company chooses to continue to exclude qualified women from top management positions it is most probable that they will find themselves unable to compete in an increasingly diversified marketplace and will lose an extraordinary amount of talent, creativity and productivity.

Women today are leaving the corporate sector in vast numbers-twice the rate of men. They are not leaving to tend totheir families but rather to seek positions that are more satisfying and rewarding or start up their own business.

In turn, big companies are losing valuable players. This loss is becoming more and more costly to organizations that have invested time and money in their employees. It would serve both organizations and women to reexamine the obstacles that prevent females from advancing and...
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