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The Glass Ceiling and Women in the Workplace

Autor:   •  December 31, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  3,699 Words (15 Pages)  •  909 Views

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Final Paper - SOC 490: Social Science Capstone

The Glass Ceiling And Women In The Workplace

There are far too many businesses around the world that either choose to or unconsciously interfere in the progress of women into higher positions. This problem, even if it is unconscious, can usually be back-tracked to the beginnings of a woman’s entrance into the workplace. This problem can especially be traced if she exhibits any proclivity for moving into management and a desire for moving further up the executive ladder. The reality is that women hold far fewer positions in management and executive ranks is not a new view. Women face many obstacles when trying to advance up the corporate ladder. Two of these obstacles are discrimination and stereotyping. But, the concept that is not new but may be unexpected is that there is the impression that many more obstacles are placed in a woman’s path from the beginning of their career when contrasted with a man’s career.

There are several factors that seem to impede women from reaching upper management level positions. Two of these factors are the fact that women are less likely to get involved in variable pay schemes that are based on their work performance but there are also a lot fewer opportunities to obtain mentoring from those in executive positions. Ever since women have sought equal pay for equal work economists have tried to present an explanation of the pay gap between women and men. Even though one explanation is work experience there continues to be a huge gap that cannot be explained. Some information that was recently uncovered suggests that when men and women enter the workforce their mental approaches to the type of work they prefer will eventually affect their work performance. There is evidence that shows that women tend to not do as well as men when it comes to variable pay schemes especially when they have to compete with men. Manning and Saidi (2010) state in their article, “…..women are about 15% less likely than men to enter a variable pay scheme.” But this is compounded by the fact that women do not have near as much access and are often prevented from obtaining mentoring that would assist them in not only bettering their positions in the workforce but from climbing the corporate ladder.

Women continue to fight presumptions about what an executive leader appears to look like. It is not just the look of a leader but the attitude that goes with how one performs. Women continue to fall behind in obtaining the necessary guidance to reach the executive level. Laff (2007) states in his article, “Women lack access to the informal mentoring that accompanies working in client service sectors.” But women are also facing the problem of how their fellow employees see them when they attempt to advance beyond their current position. Often women also


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