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Glass ceiling is the artificial plateau which hinders women and minorities from advancing to higher levels of cooperate management in America (Chaffins, 1995). It has been a routine of the day to hear that women are denied quality jobs despite that the fact that they are competent enough to handle such jobs. According to Friedman (1997) Glass ceiling barriers which exist against women and minorities is a form of sex discrimination which violates the law.
Glass level ceilings are globally present in all levels of organizations and industries. Even though Chief Executive Officers tend to take note of the importance of work force diversity, glass ceiling barriers still deprive both women and minorities the opportunity to hold executive level offices in private sectors. This topic is directly linked to theories of organizational management as it seeks to explain why women are not given the opportunity to lead in most organizations and the emerging trends as women try to rise up and claim their rights.
Debates as to why women are not climbing up in the cooperate ladder as compared to men are taking centre stage. Expansive research has been conducted to explain this while there are also a couple of theories which seek to elaborate this. One of the theory involves the literature process and it asserts that women tend to have a lot of domestic roles which act as a hindrance for them to climb to top management (Backburn, 2002). Indeed women have a lot of domestic roles and responsibilities, they have to do household work and take care of children. This theory asserts that if only women were free from these responsibilities, then they could be able to put more focus and efforts in their careers hence become competent enough to earn top positions.
The theory of patriarchy also attempts to elaborate the reason as to why women can not climb up the cooperate ladder (Backburn, 2002). According to this theory, men are recognized as holders of eminent powers this makes them more competent and as a result they get more dignified jobs with better payments compared to their women counterparts. Since time in memorial, women have been considered as minorities in the society being regarded as children bearers. This is the reason as to why women are under represented in parliamentary sits, in professional, administrative and managerial positions. They are only given vacancies in lower level jobs with poor pays.
Blackburn (2002) also talks about the preference theory which asserts that there exist two types of women; those who are interested and give more attention to their careers and those who are more concerned with their families. Women who are careers oriented give more attention to their careers. Such women live as single women and have no interest in children. Due to the fact that most of our cultures recognize child bearing and house chores as the basic roles of women in the society, such women are always discriminated and regarded as acting against the societies' morally accepted norms. They are viewed as trying to compete with their male counterparts to whom they are supposed to be submissive. Women who give more attention to their families share the societal believe that a woman's basic roles in the family are to give birth and take care of the children. This might be the reason as to why there are no enough women in top positions in most societies.
Research also shows that expectations due to the fact that the society expects women to carry out some specific roles hinders women form moving up in cooperate managerial positions. According to Bridge (1998) women are regarded perform better in women dominated careers rather than male dominated careers. This implies the fact that women may go after careers that are regarded as women's. Also due to the fact that societal norms depict that women are child bearers and domestic workers, then women may prefer going for lesser jobs than their male counterparts since they are only trying to help them.
This elaborates why women may land in low earning jobs. Ababkov (2005) observed that men devote more time and attention to their careers whereas women devote more time to household chores, child bearing and rearing and that thi remains the routine up to the present day despite the fact that the society is changing and becoming more dynamic. Ababkov also noted that men tend to have the notion that they should manage family finances while women's roles should only be centered in managing the house. This sort of expectations from the society is bound to affect the manner in which women perceive themselves in the professional world.
Wrigley (2002) sought to know how women regard the glass ceiling from 27 women who worked in public relations sectors. Wrigley noted that previously the women had agreed that there was no glass ceiling in public relation management, but y the end of the assessment process each woman had at least narrated an experience which was directly associated to the glass ceiling concept. Wrigley noted five main factors that contributed to glass ceiling in women working in the public relations management sector. He pointed out the first factor as being denial. He explained that self denial was depicted trough the women blaming themselves for their inability to advance by stating that public relations was a female dominated career and pointing out that there was glass ceiling in other careers but not in public relations. The other factors were historical precedence and gender socialization.
This factors were exhibited y the women pointing boundaries which were drawn by societal norms regarding heir careers and responsibilities. These limitations had been there from the past. Another factor which Wrigley found out was that women were turning against fellow women. He explained that women in their feelings were held back by their fellow women who had successfully made it to top positions. The terminology cooperate bitch was applied in elaborating how a woman who has made it to the top is so determined to make sure that nobody else makes it to where she is hence hindering other women from advancing (Wrigley, 2002). The last factor contributing to glass ceiling that Wrigley found out was corporate culture. This depicts the women's responses as to the manner in which cooperates differ from agencies in that they are always male dominated making it harder for women to advance in corporations when compared to small agencies. Apparently this depicts the fact that glass ceiling remains completely intact.
A wide range of literature focusing on earnings has indicated that the gap between women's earnings and men's is extremely prominent. According to Cotter (2001) women earn 60 percent of what men earn both in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan areas. He also observed that the gap widens as women move towards their careers, focusing on the fact that when men advance and get promotions women remain at the same managerial positions. According to this research man's earnings differ greatly with women's even though they may have the same qualifications and professional skills.
Women are absorbed in low paying professions because employers are biased in promoting women to high rank jobs when they feel that such a rank is male dominated and hence appointing a man could serve it better. When women fail to make into high paying male dominated jobs, they land in hostile surroundings which force them into taking low managerial positions with poor pays. According to Roth (2004) approximately six years after women have taken their masters in business administration, they tend to find themselves shifting from high paying jobs to low positions. This results from increased family responsibilities and discrimination from their male counterparts in such positions.
Wrigley (2002) carried out a research to determine how gender differences contributed to positions held by both man and women in psychological departments in colleges and universities. He found out from 582 members working in university and college psychology departments that gender differences were prominent. The first difference that was noted was depicted in the levels of positions held within the department. It was evident that women held junior positions while their male counterparts held senior positions. Wrigley also observed that the difference was more prominent in the age gap of 40-49 where 37 percent of men held senior positions while only 25 percennt of women had been able to achieve this. Another difference that Wrigley found out was that women in these departments appeared to get little promotions compared to their male counterparts. I the age gap of 30-39 women received limited promotions than men who had the same skills and capacity as them. Wrigley concluded that there was an eminent glass ceiling in psychology departments in institutions of advanced learning.
On the other hand there are arguments which suggest that the glass ceiling has been broken and that women are no longer hindered from achieving their desired goals in their careers. In the recent past there has been a remarkable increase in the number of women being absorbed into the professional world resulting into the increase d number of women observed in managerial positions. According to a research conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women have advanced in managerial and official positions in private sectors by 29 percent (Wrigley, 2002).
Evidence from some academic literatures indicate that women are as god as men when put in leadership positions. Women show characters of god leaders when put in managerial positions and have same professional skills as men in those positions. According to Chaffins (1995) women have the qualities that are needed to be a superior sex while men are more vulnerable to stress wand this is bound to hinder their performance in managerial positions. Chaffins also observes that women are able to handle stress, live longer, they are more open and expressive compared to their male counterparts.
He notes that women in top managerial positions are more inclusive, open and flexible compared to their male counterparts who depict the traditional way of leadership (Chaffins, 1995). He asserts that women leaders are rated as more warm and welcoming when they first interact with their new employees and are more often praised for their ability to work more effectively with their employees (Chaffins, 1995). The explanation behind this is that women have clear open communication styles and are always compassionate.
Research indicates that with the dynamic market and economic changes, there is not really a glass ceiling that hinders women from attaining top managerial positions. Women are failing to get these positions out of their own will. More often, top managerial positions call for dire commitment and time. While women may be committed to such positions they still want to balance their careers with their family lives this affects the commitment that they may have towards their careers. According to a study which worked out to review how the current managers and organizations feel about women getting an equal share in senior managerial positions, skewed balance is bound to enhance undesirable state of affairs.
According to Chaffins (1995), if organizations get serious about creating equal opportunities, they should also consider changing managerial cultures. The most common reason as to why women are not taking managerial positions is that they do not want to compete for equal salaries and prestige as to those of men due to the fact that they follow and heed to family policies. Though the fact remains that majority of women wish to have stable careers and families therefore women ought to be considered in top managerial positions.
It is difficult to come up with a clear conclusion whether the research ceiling has been broken due to the fact that there is research supporting both sides of the argument. Part of the research supports the fact that glass ceiling is still evident and prominent. While the research that assert s that the glass ceiling has been broken indicates that the dynamic market, technology and economic changes have necessitated glass ceiling breakage and as a result women are now taking top managerial positions. From the above arguments it is evident that in order for the glass ceiling to be broken, the society must do away with some traditions and mentalities which seem to discriminate women. The culture that tends to value men should be altered to value both men and women as being equal. As a student, these arguments have helped learn to value women as diligent leaders.