The Glass Ceiling: Fact or Illusion
The glass ceiling is it a fact or an illusion? The two words “Glass Ceiling” are used to describe the barrier that exists for women and minorities-when it comes to getting promoted into the upper echelons of a company. Does the ceiling exist or is it a figment of the imagination? The writer intentions are to present a picture of that ceiling, and show how it plays a part in corporate America. That in fact the ceiling is an injustice being done to women and minorities, and it does exist.
Glass is clear, something that can be seen through. A ceiling is the overhead surface of a room, the end point of how high the room is. “If glass ceilings existed, they would allow people to see through to the world above them. Because glass is clear, those existing under such a ceiling might not, at first, even notice that a barrier was in place, which separated them from higher levels. Yet if they tried to pass through, they would quickly learn that the ceiling prevented any such rise” (Russell Madison). The glass ceiling represents modern day racism, not only against minorities, but women as well.
Therefore, history has contributed much to the situation. You see, men (white males) have always thought of themselves as the superior being of all races, and gender. A woman’s place was always in the home, cooking, cleaning, and raising the children. Minorities (blacks) roles were as slaves, never meant to own anything for themselves, but only to serve. Discrimination is a more polite way to look at it. "Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of their membership in a particular group or class. Statutes have been enacted to prevent discrimination based on a person’s race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin and in some instances sexual preference”. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/civil_rights.html).
Studies and statistics show that in fact, there exists such a discrimination barrier in corporate America. Being a member of management and a minority the writer has witnessed promotions, and pay raises given on the bases of who hunts, fishes, or plays golf with the boss, and not on job performances and merits. Today, the writer attends school, to get a degree, for the purpose of advancing his career. He has been told that competing without one, even with the experience that he has, would not be sufficient. So there is in fact a barrier of discrimination, a glass ceiling.
It seems to be that the biggest barrier to women and minorities at top management levels is the bunch of boys sitting around a table making all the decisions. In other words when a decision has to be made concerning who should be promoted to senior management, male corporate leaders are inclined to select people as much like themselves as possible - so there is no astonishment that women and minorities are often not even considered at promotion...