Breaking the glass ceiling (one shard at a time)

Satisfactory Essays
Though it is arguably true that tremendous strides have been made for women’s rights, I firmly believe that there is still a discriminatory glass ceiling beyond which women cannot advance due to gender. Women possessing the skills and abilities of their male counterparts are blocked from the innermost circles of power and influence, and promotions to top-level managerial positions achieved by women lag behind the actual increase of women in the workforce. Ann Morrison, who describes the glass ceiling as subtle and transparent, yet strong enough to prevent women from moving up the corporate hierarchy, notes that it “is not simply a barrier for an individual, based on the person’s inability to handle a higher-level job. Rather, the glass ceiling applies to women as a group who are kept from advancing higher because they are women” (Breaking the Glass Ceiling, pp. 13).
This intangible barrier is linked to the notion of a status quo, in that male-dominated power structures are inclined to stay male-dominated. When deciding who to promote into top-level managerial positions, male corporate leaders have a tendency to select individuals as similar to themselves as possible. As a result, women are frequently not considered for promotions to executive and managerial roles. In addition, women who do achieve the title of “executive” are highly concentrated into the types of jobs that offer little or no opportunity for advancement to the top. They are not likely to serve in roles or capacities that are crucial to the success of the company, and both the tasks and duties performed, however well done, will not designate them as capable leaders within their organizations. Gender-based job segregation at the upper-levels of corporate management r...

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...valuated and affirmed by those around us. For women, however, this process is often interrupted, due to the fact that “when women display leadership behaviors we consider normative in men, we see them as unfeminine, [and] when women act more feminine, we don’t see them as leaders” (Sarah Green, Harvard Business Review). This issue is felt and internalized, rather than seen, and drastically decreases women’s motivation to lead within an organization. In contrast, Morrison notes that women, while kept from the innermost circles of leadership and power, and constantly, and with high intensity, purported to succeed: “the pressure is in being a minority, set apart by gender before anything is said or done, and in being responsible for representing women as a group because there is no one, or few others, to share that responsibility” (Breaking the glass ceiling, pp. 17).