The Glass Ceiling

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The glass ceiling refers to those artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organizational biases that prevent women from reaching the top-level positions that are most often held solely by men. However, there is new evidence that suggest that the glass ceiling is more complicated than the metaphorical “glass ceiling” implies. For example, the glass ceiling implies the existence of an impenetrable barrier to the top leadership positions. Today, one can clearly see that this barrier is no longer impenetrable. Women like, Condoleezza Rice, Hilary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi are great examples of women who have busted through the glass ceiling. That being said, there are still challenges faced by women in the workplace, especially those in lower and midlevel positions. Women do not progress in the ranks unobstructed before getting to the top. Instead, they face many challenges and difficulties. Because of this Eagly and Carli (2007) have labeled this journey of challenges that happen from lower levels all the way to the top as the leadership labyrinth(as cited by Northouse,2010). Some of the challenges encountered within the labyrinth include, stereotyping, prejudice, and leadership style.

Diversity Improves the Bottom Line

Canas and Sondak (2011) describe diversity management as a systemic approach that moves beyond legal requirements and organizational claims. They go on to explain that diversity management is systemic, because it should be ingrained in an organization and tied to strategic business goals. Diversity management, like any other initiative must start at the top.

There is a business case for diversity, by hiring diverse groups of women; organizations will be more representative of their communities and customers. ...

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...e a rough game, each understands the use of transactional leadership as well. This means, sometimes there are deals to be made in order to get the job done. Vecchio (2008) describes transactional leadership as “accomplishing that task at hand” (p.303). In the midst of bipartisan issues sometimes transactional behaviors are required.

These women have demonstrated their ability to rise to the top despite the leadership labyrinth. They have demonstrated androgynous combination characteristics. Their intelligence, social skills and ability to influence others is remarkable. Therefore, to compare any of these female leaders to a male leader would be unjust. These female leaders, while they may have had to adopt masculine characteristics in order to reach the top, have not had to emulate anyone. They have made a pathway for other women to follow.
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