Women and the Glass Ceiling

Vaishali Satwase May 13, 2019
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Glass ceiling is the mindset of the traditional patriarchal society habituated to discriminate women from basic rights. The term is particularly used for women at workplace who are denied pay equal. Read to know more about how we can empower women at workplace.
The term 'glass ceiling' refers to gender discrimination that limits a woman as inferior and is somewhat harassed by the society. This has a subtle effect that blocks her peace of mind. It is the accepted domination practiced by stereotypical society that makes a woman weaker not only physically, but mentally as well.
As we know, glass is transparent, we can see through it, but its invisible ceiling stops women to reach the destination they want to reach. Though being qualified and experienced, many women are not get promoted at managerial level, but obtained the positions that are secondary i.e. assistant, secretary, hospital and administrative jobs, etc.
What might be the reasons behind it? It's crucial and has impacts from past times till date. It's male-dominated society where all higher management include men, so they prefer men; secondly, our mindset; thirdly, women's struggle for managing family and workplace responsibilities; fourthly, jobs only for men/women constraint, and minority of women, etc.
Later on, glass ceiling classified into two concepts sexism and gender discrimination. It is a barrier in the progress of gender minority groups especially working women. Recent reviews in the United States state that the top Fortune 1000 industrial companies have 95% of the senior managers as men; also 97% of them are white!
Feminism is the revolutionary movement to fight back for equality and basic rights that too help raise women's issues like glass ceiling. We use the hierarchical distribution of work based on conventional differences between two genders.
In 1980s' female authors rewrote the male-dominated literature and demanded equal rights for women. Recently, senator Hillary Clinton applied the theme glass-ceiling plea for her participation in presidential election in United States.

Origin and Use of the Concept 'Glass Ceiling'

The term glass ceiling was first used basically in corporate field when the Wall Street Journal promoted this issue in March 1986. It described conflict that arose when qualified women were denied higher positions in corporate ladder and did not get equally paid for similar type of work.
Many women writers raised their voice to point out how they have been treated in America and that they keep bumping their heads on the glass ceiling without any result. A quote by women's activist and writer, Nora Frenkiel in 1984, sums up the situation:
"Women have reached a certain point. I call it the glass ceiling. They're in the top of middle management and they're stopping and getting stuck. There isn't enough room for all those women at the top. Some are going into business for themselves. Others are going out and raising families."
Glass ceiling is found in workplaces, not only in the discrimination of pay scales, but is also marked by sexual harassment, exploitation at work and also as a feeling of insecurity in women due to conduct of the opposite gender. Women struggle to incarnate their own personality in spite of restriction of gender discrimination.
United States' Civil Rights Act of 1964 grants equal treatment for all human at employment or workplace. This law holds the opportunities without any deterrent(s) according to gender, race, color, and religion to each individual.
An example of how a woman can achieve success if given the chance -
Quentin Bryce became the current Governor-General of Australia, for the first time in the world history, on September 5, 2008. One can look up to her for the impartial judgments and long experience of teaching (1968-1983) in the Faculty of Law at the University of Queensland.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling...

One should not take glass ceiling as the subject of gender earning penalties, since it totally depends on the company and workplace a woman is into.
We require proper management to deal with problems in profession and for women's progress in general. Creating a cooperative environment without bullying a junior by overload of daily work would be one way out. Mentor and give feedback to qualified women on a regular basis, so that they get positive environment and opportunities to enhance their skills.
Human resources should promote people who meet the goal of their program eliminate any cultural and gender prejudices. Try to encourage women for their talent and leadership.
A workplace should consider the ability of an individual and not the issues of 'glass ceiling' based on gender, religion, culture, and race of minority class. Consider equal salary to a woman who works equal as her man colleague.
In today's world of equality, wo(man) is not "Frailty, thy name is woman!" but she is the one who represents the quote "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!"
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