A look at the Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century

Most people are under the impression that women have broken through the glass ceiling and it just does not exist anymore.

These people would be mistaken.

The truth is that women are still not succeeding in obtaining senior positions in the work force.

glass ceiling for women

Gender equality may have improved somewhat since the days of feminism, but many women will attest that they feel discriminated against, when trying to make it into the top positions within a company.

In the business world it is widely acknowledged by women that they are facing the glass ceiling in their careers.

In a recent Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) survey, 73% of women reported feeling that they were at a disadvantage when competing for senior management positions compared with their male counterparts.

Thirty-eight percent of men who took part in this survey believed that a glass ceiling still exists when it comes to women in the workplace.

Women tend to have these negative views about their career prospects when beginning their career, not after suffering workplace burnout or disappointment about not getting a promotion.

It is expected that one half of women in the workplace expect to become managers, whereas two thirds of men believe that a managerial position will be their career eventually.

But are these results focusing on the negative attitudes of women and their careers or is this what society expects?

Society probably believes that the glass ceiling is a myth. Many men believe this. Until women see the discrimination for themselves, it’s possible that they don’t believe it either.

Many women are now considering being their own bosses, instead of trying to make it up the corporate ladder.

The idea behind women starting their own entrepreneurial venture means that they are in control and can be successful in their own right.

More women than men seem to have an interest in working for themselves. Female business people probably feel that the system does not support them.

When it is time to juggle family and career, the workplace tends to penalize women for that.

Taking time out to have a family and take maternity leave might stall your career, there are no two ways about it, but why should women be singled out?

Perhaps the idea of starting their own business venture is a good solution as they will be in charge of the company they build and they will be in control of where their career ends up.

Many stay-at-home mums are looking at ways to build a business from home, and if they are successful, why would they return to the workforce and the rat race everyday when they can be with their family?

The risks that go with starting your own business seem to be worth it for women, given what they have to put up with in the workplace.

Therefore taking into account the personal beliefs that women are dealing with in their careers today, external factors do exist.

Women being awarded the top jobs in the Boardroom is just not a common occurrence. Boardroom equality is not always achieved as a rule, and there are several reasons for this.

This can depend on the individual business. For businesses that have always had a boardroom full of men, it will be much harder for a woman to obtain a position in the boardroom.

Those men working in these high-powered positions might generally choose to select men to take their place if they leave or retire.

This behavior leads to a cycle of female discrimination, which is completely unfair. Even if it is company tradition to hire men to sit on the board, it is sexual discrimination whichever way you slice it.

In many cases the discrimination outlined above is not carried out deliberately. No-one is the bad guy in this scenario.

These men are just making decisions based on what they have always done when running the company. Although there are some people who practice discrimination deliberately; most people do not do this.

Getting information out there to the executives of companies is one way to improve this situation. Making the workforce aware that it is unfair to gender discriminate and also illegal can help to bring changes.

One other possible solution would be to bring in gender quotas which will force large companies to have a certain amount of women in upper management positions.

Those who say that the glass ceiling does not exist anymore are wrong. While career choices for women have improved, society has a long way to go before that glass ceiling is shattered.

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