The Perceived Challenges of Women in Leadership Positions That Prevents Them from Climbing the Corporate Ladder

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The Perceived Challenges of Women in Leadership Positions That Prevents Them from Climbing the Corporate Ladder


For years, women have encountered gender bias in the corporate environment. Men have dominated the workplace making it difficult for women to advance in power and leadership. Gender bias has become problematic for the career oriented women creating barriers such as stereotyping, job advancement, power imbalance, and unequal wages. Hymowitz and Schellhardt (1986) described the challenges as invisible barriers, the glass ceiling that prevents women from advancing to a certain level in various institutions. Arfken, Bellar, and Helms (2004) defined it as an invisible barrier that prevents minorities and women from gaining access to leadership positions. For example, in the Fortune 500 companies, more than 83 percent do not have women among their five highest earning officers, and 18 percent do not have women in these positions (Catalyst, 2000). The statistics verifies the fact that the glass ceiling does exist in the workplace. It is unfortunate that women have to face such challenges. In spite of the barriers, there is hope for women (minority) globally to succeed in climbing the corporate ladder. It is only through developing strategies such as: a) performance, dealing with the discrimination, b) understanding and indentifying the sexist culture and working around it and c) educating women to break through the glass ceiling (De Morsella, 2006). To finally have the opportunity to break through the glass ceil and rise to the top of the corporate ladder is a triumphant occurrence for women.

The Lenses of Gender

Women are not given the same opportunities to climb the corporate ladder as men but instead...

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