The "glass ceiling" has held women back from certain positions and opportunities in the workplace. Women are stereotyped as part-time, lower-grade workers with limited opportunities for training and advancement because of this "glass ceiling". How have women managed their careers when confronted by this glass ceiling? It has been difficult; American women have struggled for their role in society since 1848. Women’s roles have changed significantly throughout the past centuries because of their willingness and persistence. Women have contributed to the change pace of their role in the workplace by showing motivation and perseverance.
The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 started a women’s rights movement; a small group of women demanded the right to vote, claim progress in property rights, experience employment and educational opportunities, have social freedoms, and other essential demands touching every aspect of life. Women wanted a change and needed a new place in society. They did not have the most basic democratic equality of all, the equal right to vote, until the 19th amendment was adopted in 1920. As they gained the right to vote, women began feeling the right to explore other opportunities.
In the 1920s, women struggled to develop a work identity that would give them professional status and preserve their femininity (Walkowitz, 1051). They wanted to be eligible for an executive position, but at the same time they also wanted to be Women finally began working outside the home, but not yet at the level, status, and rank they deserved. They deserved
Women have long participated in American business, and their roles have greatly changed. The jobs that women held at first were considered simple and feminine. Many were secretaries, office helpers, or assistants to male executives. Some women were known as the earlier entrepreneurs, the traditionals (Emmott, 521). Traditionals were usually sole proprietors who extended domestic services and related skills into the marketplace. These women entrepreneurs opened the way to new horizons for other women in the workplace for future years.
In the 1950s, women comprised less than one third of the labor force (Berger, 4) (See Appendix B). Women had their place in the workforce, yet it was not very influencial. Women had to fight to hold their positions while confronting many hardships. They had to contend with management’s efforts to rationalize work with their family’s expectations of being a mother.
Women also had to live up to their family heritage and what their family’s thoughts were of a woman in the workforce. Some women felt that family issues had delayed the dawn of their careers. Barbara White, in Women’s Career Development, describes these women as late starters. Late starters are women who have been held back because of other commitments, beliefs or opinions. Some of today’s ‘profssionals’ made late commitments to their careers. Thirty-one...