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The Glass Ceiling Essay

2498 words - 10 pages

The “Glass Ceiling” is the term giving to the invisible obstacles sometimes found in the workforce. The barriers that limit women’s and minorities progress toward employment equity extend from the glass ceiling at the top of corporations to the floor of low paying jobs in the labor market. These barriers are created by a process at exclusion that continuously eliminates women, minorities, and other underprivileged groups from being candidates of higher positions. When a company exercises this type of discrimination, they look for the most defensible explanation they can find to make this behavior seem acceptable. The “glass ceiling” is still very much a part of the corporate world today as it was many years ago. This is evident by the hindered progress of women and minorities seen in much of the corporate workforce.
In order to develop the theme of influence of the invisible glass ceiling to the work place, it is important to rely on the background of this opinion. According to the economical point of view, the glass ceiling is referred to as the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the top of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualification or achievements. This metaphor was initially only applied to women, but quickly extended to minority men as well (Shedd).
While legislation regarding discrimination based on gender prevents overt discrimination, subtle measures have been found to exist within many organizations which effectively prevent women from moving into the highest levels of management. These include doubtful success criteria, inaccurate perception of women’s aspirations and progress, and cultural biases against working women (Miller 18).
Blocked opportunities refer to structural barriers that women and minorities come into conflict with that prevent their advancement within an organization. People who feel that they have had their opportunities blocked also feel that their aspirations have been limited.
Some organizations mirror society’s idea about which group of workers are appropriate for certain types of jobs. Although hiring and promotion are supposed to be based on rational and universal criteria, they often express informal expectations about gender, race, and class of the people best suited for particular positions, producing race and gender stratified work forces. Men are thought to be more ambitious, task-oriented, and work involved; while women are considered less motivated, less committed, and more geared towards work relationships than work itself.
Gender and race are often synonymous with one’s place in organizational power structure. Those individuals who occupy the top positions have a tradition in maintaining traditional rules and procedures related to hiring, seniority, and other personnel practices that work to their advantage and exclude others. A good example is that corporate policies and practices can subtly maintain the status quo by keeping...

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