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Glass ceiling refers to the indiscernible barriers that do not allow women and the other minorities to advance in their careers despite their credentials and capabilities (Murray, 2010). Unqualified men occupy prestigious and well-paying positions than qualified women because of gender disparity. Therefore, women remain in the same position of work for many years without promotion regardless of their credentials and capabilities because of the glass ceiling (Reid & Kerr, 2003). This discussion will consider the existence of a glass ceiling, glass walls, and the glass cliff for women and men in the contemporary workplace, as well as an appropriate progress for removing the glass ceiling for employees.
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In the contemporary society, both men and women experience glass ceiling, glass wall, and glass cliff at their place of work. Glass ceiling serves as a metaphor that represents the invisible barrier, which prevents women and individuals from the minority groups from rising to high ranks, especially the managerial positions, within the organization (Branson, 2010). In most cases, this situation does not apply to men, but men from minority ethnic groups, such as Hispanics and African Americans, experience the glass ceiling at the workplace. The parental responsibility serves as a contributory factor towards the glass ceiling that women experience. For instance, organizations may consider maternal leaves as an inconvenience to their operations. Female employees may remain i the same rank throughout their working lives because people perceive them as more deceitful, abrasive, pushy, and selfish than male employees occupying high ranks (Murray, 2010). Another factor that contributes glass ceiling includes the race or ethnic group in which an employee belongs. For instance, African American women and men have a high likelihood of experiencing a glass ceiling effect at many workplaces across the United States. Therefore, the glass ceiling effect at the workplace takes places as a result of gender or racial discrimination. Glass ceiling is a real roadblock for both men and women at workplaces.
Glass wall represents the lateral barrier that prevents female employees and employees belonging to the minority groups from getting a job promotion (Murray, 2010). Employees from the minority groups may include African Americans or Hispanic men and women at workplaces across the United States. Glass wall effect has a close association with the glass ceiling effect because promotions allow male and female employees to experience a rise in rank. Therefore, gender and ethnic or racial differences may serve as significant factors against job promotions, thereby hindering a rise in ranks at the workplace (Murray, 2010). Glass wall effect has been a real roadblock for men and women at workplaces in various countries, including the United States. The glass cliff refers to the situation whereby a person belonging to a minority group has a high likelihood of attaining a leadership position, whosse risk of criticism or failure is extremely high (Branson, 2010). This situation can allow female employees and employees belonging to other minority groups to break the glass wall and glass ceiling. For instance, Susan Ivey attained the position of CEO at Reynolds following the reduced productivity of the tobacco company (Branson, 2010).
The progresses for breaking the glass wall and glass ceiling at the workplace include working part-time, hiring house help, going for promotions, and working hard and diligently, especially for women (Branson, 2010). This will convince employers that maternal responsibilities may not lead to inconveniences toward the smoothing running of the organization’s operations. Working hard, diligently, and with a focus will also prevent the occurrence of the glass cliff situation (Branson, 2010). This is because an employer will have enough confidence in a diligent employee thereby raise the rank without fearing the possibilities for failure.
In conclusion, glass wall, glass ceiling, and glass cliff are among the most common situations that female employees and male employees at workplaces. Male employees are unlikely to experience the glass wall, glass ceiling, and glass cliff situations unless they belong to the minority groups. Working part-time, hiring house help, going for promotions, and working hard and diligently are the current progresses against the glass wall, glass ceiling, and glass cliff situations (Branson, 2010).
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