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Glass Ceiling At Workplace


What is this Glass Ceiling?

The term glass ceiling was first used by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy D. Schellhardt in their March 24, 1986 article in the Wall Street Journal, The Glass Ceiling: Why Women Cant Seem to Break the Invisible Barrier That Blocks Them from the Top Job. Glass ceiling refers to the notional barrier that women face when they attempt to gain access to the highest echelons of leadership.

A Reality or Myth?
Reports and surveys indicate: Women constitute 24 percent of the workforce in India Only 5 percent of these reach the top layer, compared to a global average of 20 percent.

What women feel: Till mid-level, the growth is inclusive for both genders. But the glass ceiling becomes more stark as they climb up the hierarchy in the company. Women managers usually lack role models at the workplace. They may look up to male leaders, but they cannot to help them navigate the challenges of female stereotypes!

Corporate world argues: Glass ceiling exists in the mind of the women. Low representation of women in business schools which culminates into fewer women in the corporate world. Top leaders suggest that the onus must lie with women. They should stand by with determination and fight it out.

Researchers argue: Researchers Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli argue that the obstacles women face at the workforce are more aptly described as a labyrinth than a glass ceiling. According to them, it is not a single obstacle that women run into at a particular level of the hierarchy. The Labyrinth: Stereotyping certain jobs as feminine and senior leadership roles as masculine Exaggerated notions about womens leadership

Juggling with family demands

Isolation from informal networks at work Lack of female role models at workplace

The Road Ahead For Women

Realise your worth! British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, You cant lead from the crowd Be willing to rock the boat Women must not let themselves be intimidated Embrace risk as crucial to your success

How organisations can help:

Facilitate networking with other women in leadership roles Avoiding tokenism in work teams

Encourage career customization as per employee life stage

Source Cartoon

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