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Minority Women And The Glass Ceiling

1162 words - 5 pages

Minority Women and the Glass CeilingThe challenge of getting minority women into senior-level management positions is a daunting one. While there is a significant increase in women and minorities in the workplace, few have made it all the way to the top. As Americans continue to mature, nearly half of all workers present in or entering the workforce will be women. More than a quarter of these will likely be minorities. This research outline, and the resulting projects of the next few weeks, will focus on the ability of, and the issues faced by, minority women to break through "the glass ceiling" and achieve executive positions in today's business world.Many minority women feel the presence of "the glass ceiling," an invisible barrier that prevents a disproportionate number of women and minorities from rising to top corporate positions. Some believe this barrier is so hard to break through, that it should be called a "concrete ceiling." One positive today is that many people realize that diversity is fast becoming the corporate watchword of the decade. This is not because corporations are becoming kindler and gentler toward culturally diverse groups, but because they simply want to survive in today's ever-changing world. In order to do so, a growing number of U.S. organizations will have to recruit, train, and promote culturally diverse individuals. In essence, this is nothing more than developing additional human resources in an effort to keep up with the competitiveness of the times. Although corporate America would have the majority believe that minorities do rise to executive levels and that diversity is the way of the future, this is not always the case with what is practiced. Many minorities, specifically women, must perform above and beyond what is expected of them in order to gain the same position as, for example, their Caucasian male counter-parts. Minority women who do break through "the glass ceiling" do not do so easily and have had to switch companies in many instances in order to land a position within an organization that is claiming to be diversified, or strike out on their own.According to The Center for Women Policy Studies, 47% of women of color say they feel under pressure to work long hours to get ahead, and more than a third believe they must minimize their race or ethnicity to be successful at work. Also, Hispanics only hold 1.6% of board seats on Fortune 500 companies, according to a 2004 study by Hispanic Business Magazine (Working Mothers, 2007).Over the past 25 years, the percentage of women and minorities participating in the workforce has increased. However, this increase has been confined to entry level positions, while the middle and senior-level management positions still reflect a shortfall of women and minorities (Martin, 2006).One of the issues encountered by minority women is gender bias, where many men hold superior level positions with a higher rate of pay. Although men tend to be sharing family...

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