A Study on the Existence of ‘Glass Ceiling’ Faced by Female Managers

“A STUDY ON THE EXISTENCE OF ‘GLASS CEILING’ FACED BY FEMALE MANAGERS IN HOTEL INDUSTRY IN MALAYSIA ” LITERATURE REVIEW 1. Introduction There have been a number of market research surveys that states information on the barriers of women’s career in hotel industry. Three general areas of literature that are identified to be relevant to this study: definition of ‘’glass ceiling’’, the barriers of female managers in advancing to a higher level in their career in hotel industry and breaking through the ‘’glass ceiling which includes the factor of salary and promotion, social attitudes, work-family conflict, and training as independent variables.Whereby, capability of work, networking, morale support, and confidence and knowledge are the variables which moderate the independent variables towards the impact on glass-ceiling. 2.

The Barriers of Female Managers in Hotel Industry. 2. 2. 1Glass-ceiling The phrase “glass ceiling” refers to invisible barriers to a person in order to advance to a higher position (Flanders, 1994). This study focus on the existence of glass ceiling on women managers in middle management in achieving upper level in hotel industry in Malaysia.Even though there are Asian countries with labor equality laws but there are still women executives, which are underrepresented in the region. In Singapore, 95 per cent of women middle managers agreed that there was a glass ceiling preventing them from moving up to senior positions. ( Li and Leung, 2001).

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There are some other cases which highlighted by Simpson (2000), Jagger and Maxwell (1998) who argued that the ‘’glass ceiling’’ is time bounded and that age is a critical discerning factor. He stated that older women may be disadvantaged, meanwhile young women has great opportunities than their male counterparts in management.Women still under represented in management in most countries and in senior management everywhere. Furthermore, it has been levelled that occupational and vertical segregation of women is a long established characteristic of the hospitality industry. This contention in citing figures to illustrate the ‘’woeful under representation of women in the higher levels of hospitality…’’ (Gordon, 1993).

2. Discrimination in salary and promotion. One of the factors, which contribute to glass ceiling, is the salary and promotion. There are several studies done by researchers, which support these statements.Male directors earned a mean of $10,000 more per year than female directors (Barrett et al, 1992).

The female middle managers were given fewer opportunities to be promoted to upper management (Shinew and Arnold, 1992). Even the experience of employed graduates had experience of gender gap salaries at the start of their careers (Purcell and Quinn, 1995). These situations have proven that men are more likely to be offered “fast-track” career development than women.

Moreover, women who were less qualified and experienced should expect lower pay than more experienced (male) counterpart (Burgess, 2003).However, even when women do hold equivalent qualification, they still appear to progress at a slower level and then reach a glass ceiling (Burgess, 2003). Herewith, women had experienced discrimination in these areas would leave not much choice to them than accepting lower pay and lack of promotion unless they are able to promote themselves beyond the normal expectation. 2.

2. 2. 1 Capability of work If a woman wants to get on and is willing to meet their (men) condition, career opportunities are the same for men and women (Belle, 2002).Hereby, this area of literature shows that women are able to achieve a better work balance level in career development when only they are as capable as men. Therefore, the capability of work is one of the determinant to women career achievement. 3. Social Attitude Another factor which leads to glass ceiling is identified to be social attitude. It is both individuals and organization that have gender stereotyping towards women, which affect their career development.

These factors emphasize on the male attitudes towards women as the “weaker sex” and that they were expected to work in certain areas for certain task only.In addition, (Frank, 2001) also indicate that for example that Chinese woman prefer a male manager. Living in Malaysia as a multiracial country, we agreed that it is true that not only the Chinese but in general that most of our people prefer a male than the female manager in working environment. In order to overcome this situation, the advantage of networking is possible. However the culture exists restrain the women managers from entertaining their business associates in private clubs or on the golf course.

It is more known as the men’s field to suit this type of socializing.Because of such exclusion, women managers have limited opportunity to socialize with influential executives who could help their career development. According to Eight Malaysian Plan, Chapter four (Malaysian Economic Planning Unit), under employment, the legislators, senior officials and managers category is expected to register an average annual growth of 4. 7 per cent with its share to total employment accounting for 7.

8 per cent in 2005. This was due to the increasing demand for general managers, which as well hotel and restaurants subsector, of which general managers in lodging and catering services are accounted.Herewith, both the male and female labour force participation rate (LFPR)s registered an increased with the male LFPR increasing from 85. 7 per cent.

The female LFPR, however, was still low compared with other countries such as Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom, which had participation rates of above 60 per cent. This statement shows that the female employment was still low compared to male employment in Malaysia. 2.

2. 3. 1 Lack of networks Lacks of networks is an important predictor of the existence of a ‘’glass ceiling.The concept of networks is understood to mean a male club or an ‘’old boy network’ (Davidson and Cooper, 1992). This researcher also found that over 50 percent of top managerial jobs come through personal contacts with men, and that as men get older they move more easily into senior roles. If women are excluded from networks this would suggest that decision makers rely more on informal channels and ‘’who you know’’ to allocate key tasks and promotion rather than formal promotion or recruitment procedures.As Linehan and Scullion (2001) point out, throughout Europe from their findings indicate that, the ‘’old boy’’ network is still strong in most organization and particularly in established industries, such as medicine, accountancy and law. However, in UK the upper level of senior management and beyond identified that the ‘’glass ceiling’’ intensifies as networks and ‘’men’s club’’ become increasingly important in facilitating better progress (Simpson and Altman, 2000).

This scenario also happened in USA but women counterparts in Singapore are excluded from the ‘’old boy’’ networks.Twomey at el (2002) cited from Burke and McKeen (1994), the are severe disadvantages where women are excluded from these networks. They suggest that, the women may be missing several ingredients important for career success such as information, resources, support, advice power, allies, mentors, sponsor and privilege. (p. 10).

Twomey et al uses interview that suggests that the informal events are male dominated, for example golf which in turn effects one’s ability to network. The findings from Susanna lo et al (2003) study showed that female managers strongly felt the lack of access to professional networks.One reason might be the long and inflexible work schedule of the hotel industry limiting them to join the activities of professional associations. Susan Vinnicombe (2002) found that the information from recent UK studies by Catalyst and Opportunity Now (2001) whereby the issue of personal and management style was a key issue for senior women.

Many senior women adjusted their style to one with which men were comfortable. Women cited being excluded from informal networks and lack of access to mentors as barriers to their careers because exclusion from those networks meant that they had less information than the men who were dominant majority.Based on the survey done by Li and Robert (2001) showed that network was the second factors of barrier for the ‘’glass ceiling’’ by significant 0. 0090.

Meanwhile, in Ireland the senior research and development engineer of Computer Company which had been interviewed stated that she found there was a lot of networking for men and a lot of business was done informally after working hour. She found that women still excluded from being promoted for higher position or international job promotion because they excluded from ‘’old boy’’ networks.For the women managers in Egypt hotel, the lack of networks was the fourth factor create ‘’glass ceiling’’ (Kattara, 2005; Li and Leung, 2001) these researchers identified that the Egyptian women lacked both internal and external network access. Moreover, from the findings done in Europe, the ‘’old boy networks’’ was still strong in most organizations and particularly in established industries such as medicine, accountancy and law. From the 43 respondent of manufacturing and service industry interviewed in England, Belgium, France and Germany believed that females expatriate were lacked of networking in senior management.

The managers perceive that quite an amount of business was discussed and that useful contacts are made when male managers network informally but the female managers were excluded from the informal situation. For an example, manager of Tourism Promotion Agency stated that she had try harder and took individual responsibilities for their own careers where many of the male network systems were not officially through network associations but it were through rugby clubs, football clubs and golf clubs. For her the networking opportunities for them were not as extensive as for men.In Singapore, cultural values restrain women managers from entertaining their business associates in private clubs or on the golf courses. According to Lee (1994) this place recognise as establishing networks and ‘’learning through grapevine..

. ’’So, that the women manager in Singapore also feel excluded from this networking. They have limited mobility after reaching middle-level management. In turn, it is not surprisingly, most of Singaporean women work for financial independent which is better material comforts for their family and have job accomplishment plus self-worth.Their job is not stepping stone to further advancement and power. While, the ‘’glass ceiling’’ limits the number coming through to senior position, women manager feel it gives negative effects of these covert barriers.

This creates blocked promotion and blocked career development, discrimination, occupational stress and lower salaries (Linchan and Scullion, 2001). The respondents in their research claim that they were further disadvantaged from networking because of their additional family and home commitments and also they have less time to network than their male colleagues.However, if the professional networking was suggested, the 43 respondents feel they were available for women managers to associate that and ensure their schedule permitted joining the organization. According to the Davidson and Cooper (1992), the task for women manager to break into the male-dominated ‘’club’’ of manager prove difficult and this difficult thereby denies them social support, contact, opportunities and policy information. From these researchers, the male bonding which takes place after work hours, during sporting events and in clubs and bars which women managers were excluded.This make women feel difficult to counterpart.

Lockwood (1994) also discuss on this. In his research, women may not have full access to informal networks men use to develop work-relationships in the company and these networks often tend to exclude women due to the nature of their activities or the perception that these are ;;male activities’’. For example golf which this contributing to gender barriers in the workplace.

According to Appelbaum et al (2002) identified that men still tend to have power in decision making where it affect the upward mobility of women.This is the contributing to the ‘’old boys’’ ability to do this. Based on Davidson and Cooper (1992) findings suggest that it may be beneficial for females to network in newer groups, there are still more benefits to be gained from networking in established male-dominated groups, as power in organizations is still predominantly held by men.

It is also same evidence from research done by Linehan and Scullion (2002) in their findings of European female expatriate which suggest that women are still less integrated with important organizational networks.Based on their 50 females expatriate managers which listings from Fortune 500 and The Marketing Guide to Ireland were used to their interview. Their respondent found that women still in a minority group and they felt isolated by male colleagues. This researchers note that peer relationships and interpersonal networks provide additional sources of organizational support for managers. In addition, Purcell (1996) have the concept on ‘’old boy’’ network. This researchers suggest the informal aspect of ‘’old boy’’ network of informal recruitment by prejudice and stereotyped thinking which discourages women nd encourages men to apply for career advancement.

Besides that, operational hotel management has traditionally required long working hours and willingness to be geographically mobile. For the career advancement, women need the interest of the ‘’old boy’’ network especially to be promoted in international hotel chain (Maxwell, 1997). Linehan and Scullion (2001) identified that women who were assigned for abroad with absence of family and friends, the benefits provided by formal and informal networking in international management are of even greater value than benefits provided by networking in domestic management.The findings of interviewed with 43 females expatriate perceived that quite an amount of business is discussed and that useful contacts are made when male managers network informally but females manager were excluded access to these informal situation. Based on surveyed with 221 managers, alumni of 11 business schools in UK, 38 percent of senior women in the younger age category complained of the men’s club barrier compared with 65 percent of senior old women.

This is because young women have lack of experience and less of networking based on their working age. . Work-family conflict Conflict in dual responsibility is another factor which can be relates to women in higher the glass ceiling.

Balancing of work and life is difficult to achieve by women managers. According to Twomey at el (2002) cited from Greenhaus and Beutell (1985) define the work- family conflict is experienced when pressure from work and family roles are mutually incompatible such that participation in one role makes it difficult to participate in the other. Family relationships on women’s have been reflected in recent research.According to O’Neil and Bilimoria (2005), women continue to perform primary care-giving to children and dependents while simultaneously juggling the demands of their workforce participation, their career development issues, concerns, tasks and responsibilities, moulded by the work-family conflict pressure they experience, may be distinctly different from those of men.

In their research, they indicated that women move through three phases: the’ idealistic achievement’ phase, ‘pragmatic endurance’ phase and ‘reinvent contribution’ phase.In their discussion on’ pragmatic endurance’ career phase, they identified that women inextricably linked their career with what they do for a living. Based on their respondents, this phase women have focussed on career to the detriment of establishing their own families. These women define success as personal happiness and fulfilment.

In ‘pragmatic endurance’ phase where they hit the problem of professional relationship in having multiple life-roles and then concluding in the ‘reinventile contribution’ where they positively redefine their career and lives.Females in Singapore are expected to continue to fulfill their traditional duties as wife, mother and daughter even they can hire housemaids, but their major family responsibilities still remain (Li and Leung, 2001). Therefore, they face the double burden of employee and household manager. Moreover, without morale support by spouse and family will lead to glass ceiling. The amount of support she receives from her spouse and other relatives are very important to determine the impact on glass ceiling.

However, in Li and Leung survey that a total of 63 per cent of women managers in Singapore supports the statement that their major responsibilities will still remain in their life. 2. 2. 4. 1 Moral support Without moral support by spouse and family will lead to the glass ceiling. The amount of support women receive from their spouse and other relatives are very important to determine the impact of glass ceiling. This mentor support was the third predictor of the existence of challenges faced by women hotel manager in Egypt (Kattara, 2005).

The researcher stated that, hotel women manager in Egypt argued that in comparison with men counterparts; they did not receive equal support from their mentors. Thus, mentor support considered as one of the challenges that they confronted in their career advancements. Li and Leung (2001) survey that a total of 63 per percent of women managers in Singapore disagreed that their families behind them and supported their work.

Recent studies identified mentors as sources of organizational support for women manager and also for female expatriate manager. (Kattara, 2005; Linchan and Scullian, 2001;Li and Leung, 2001).As a result of these additional barriers, studies have established that women need more psychosocial support than men (Linehan, 2000; Clutterbuck; 1993). Organizational sources of support for women managers include mentors and interpersonal networks. The findings from interviewed of 50 female expatriate managers in broad spectrum of manufacturing and service industries suggested that mentoring relationship not only play an important role in their career success but that mentors may also improve the quality of organizational life for women managers.On the other hand, own attitude of women’s toward family and work might contribute to the cause of lack support from their spouse.

For an example, many Asian females want a husband who ‘’becomes very fame. The studied done by Burrel et al (1997) and Tang, 1988 identified that few highly educated females are willing to marry men of lower status than themselves which it is a cross cultural value in Asia. This view also support by Tang (1988) noted that female’s career become second where their spouse’s career becomes predominant. Most female managers consider that role reversal and house-husbands are unacceptable.So, lack of spouse support would drop women career. Li and Leung (2001) identified that, the Singaporean female managers must confront not only traditional cultural sanctions but also their own psychological barriers in gaining the support and aspect of their families. In a study of the factors middle managers in hotel burnout, Bulck and Thomas (2001) found that 23 percent women manager burn-out due to lack of family support and long working hour.

5. Training Training as well plays an important factor to the impact on glass ceiling.Positive action training initiative for women managers and assesses its potential effectiveness as a means of breaking through the glass ceiling (Anderson, 2004). Training and development is fundamental for building managerial awareness as well educating women themselves. This is to develop their interpersonal skills and to adopt a more assertive attitude that enables them to compete with their counterpart (male). In UK, There has been a setting up of Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 and Equal Opportunities Commission in 1976, which has been a legal requirement in employment (Anderson, 2004).

Although, there is an equal opportunities policy but it is also needed to have training as well in able to become compatible with men. 2. 2. 5. 1 Knowledge and confidence An excellent review is presented by Valerie Steven (2000) who provides a research of a stairway to the stars for “unskilled” women. She found that some studies have shown that women appear to have less self confidence than men (Davidson and Cooper, 1992), are less likely to put themselves forward for promotion (Business in the Community, 1992) and more likely to feel the need of training, believing that they will not reach the required standard without it.However, without confidence and knowledge it will not ensure the breaking through of glass ceiling. These variables of confidence and knowledge will add to the skills level of work that will lead to female career advancement.

2. 3 Shattering the glass-ceiling There have also been a market research surveys that include information on the breaking through the glass-ceiling. Several researchers argued that the ‘’glass ceiling’’ is time bounded and that age is a critical discerning factor. 2. 3. 1 Glass-ceiling is time boundedOn another hand, there were some other several studies, which argue that glass ceiling is not block solid.

Glass ceiling is time bounded and age is a critical discerning factor. There is evidence from the UK indicates that women may well be reaching equivalent positions earlier than men and the women managers tend to be younger than men (Coe, 1992; Davidson and Cooper, 1992). Another evidence comes from Ireland, which is similar with the evidence from UK.

These two studies are similar in terms of age. Conger, 1998) believes that generation X-ers have a different set of attitudes about the workplace. They prefer more informal arrangements, prefer to judge on merit rather than status, far less loyal to their companies and they like money but they also want balance in their lives. Here, the younger women are less likely to occupy traditionally female functions enable them the advantage over younger men in terms of seniority position in terms of both management role and management function that made their career paths are more dynamic.