The Glass Ceiling And The Wage Gap

2725 words - 11 pages

Women face many obstacles as they climb their career’s hierarchy and for many different reasons their wage is comparably less than that of males. After the movements toward equality in the workplace, many think that sex discrimination isn’t present anymore. However, many still believe that the glass ceiling hasn’t shattered and still possesses a barrier for many women in the labor force. The glass ceiling and the wage gap exist for various reasons but, like many other women leaders, women can break the glass and abolish the gap.
The glass ceiling is defined as the “unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps… women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.” According to the Department of Labor, the glass ceiling is made up of “artificial barriers [that are] based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions.” Qualified women are continuously denied a promotion to the highest levels of corporate America and other professions. Once women reach a certain level at their career, they plateau and the glass ceiling prevents them from advancing any higher.
The term Glass Ceiling originally appeared on an Adweek interview with Gay Bryant, editor of Family Circle, in 1984. However, she first put the term in paper on her book The Working Woman Report: Succeeding in Business in the 80’s. Women might be able to reach middle management in their company but reaching any higher might seem impossible due to the slow process and vast competition. This is “partly because corporations are structured as pyramids, with many middle managers trying to move up into the few available spots, and partly because of continuing… discrimination, a lot of women are hitting a “glass ceiling” and finding they can rise no further.” The term was also used in a Wall Street Journal article by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt on March 24, 1986 describing “the challenges faced by women in the business world.”
The gender wage gap exists in a variety of jobs and professions – law, medicine, retail, managerial positions, and truck driving are a few. In the law field, women “attorneys earn 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.” In the medical field, “female physicians and surgeons earn 64.4 cents on the dollar.” In retail, females earn “70.6 cents for every dollar earned by” male counterparts. Females in full-time managerial positions “earn 81 cents for every dollar earned by their male manager peers” and “female truck drivers earn… 76.4 cents on the dollar.” The remaining money from the female-male wage gap “may attribute to discriminatory practices.” The differences in income exist but “women work close to two-thirds of the world’s work hours [and] earn only one-tenth of the world’s income” (Graham 148).
Equality “for both sexes is still somewhat...

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