The glass cieling facing women

As stated by the US Department of Labour, a ‘glass ceiling ‘ is “ an unreal barrier based on attitudinal or organisational prejudice that prevents qualified adult females from progressing upward in their organisation into senior direction degree places. ” This position of ‘glass ceiling ‘ emerged in the United States in late seventiess. Harmonizing to this a glass ceiling was barrier to a adult females instead that to any single working as a group. Lack of experience and desired accomplishments to make the board degree or top direction was the primary principle quoted for the being of glass ceiling.

Womans were by and large constrained for clerical occupations or occupations associated with support services. Tracing the history of adult females instruction in late 70 ‘s and early 80 ‘s the above ground quoted holds true as really few adult females had appropriate school/college instruction and limited had direction grades. In 1986, the Wall Street Journal conducted a study that divulged, adult females in higher places in assorted administrations were in support service maps such as disposal, human resource and finance and these map exceptionally directed towards top direction places.

However, the above contentions by adult females activist groups argued that there was no being of glass ceiling. In conformity with the women’s rightist group, the chief ground why adult females did non make the board places was due to the fact that many adult female left their callings half manner through because of personal grounds like matrimony, fussing etc. The militant group besides mentioned that to make at a CEO degree, a adult female executive needed to waive few aspects of her personal life due to the fact that most of top direction stations needed more duties and this was non possible for bulk of adult females. In add-on to this adult females on their ain left disputing occupations for more accommodating occupations.

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In a survey conducted in 2009 by a confer withing house Accenture signified that about 70 % adult females and 57 % of work forces think that a glass ceiling ( an unseeable barrier ) exists, which thwarts ‘ adult females from traveling in front in any administration. There four grounds that disseminates the glass ceiling theory are Exclusionism, Wage spread, Commitment and Role theoretical account. Women face similar challenges as their male co-workers to acquire to the board degree, but to boot, they have to overmaster the consequence of sex favoritism in choice, publicity, development and wage. Study of work forces and Women managers ‘ callings divulged that they had parallel calling waies ( Vinnicombe and Singh 2003 ) . As both work forces and adult females took challenges in their new occupations, they acquired utile experience in covering with alteration, taking hazard, experience and acquisition from failures.

There were some unsimilarity in that the work forces actively approached their wise mans to seek out assorted chances for growing or development, whilst the adult females pointed out that they were spotted by senior people. Some adult females indicated their involuntariness to accept publicities being proposed to them, nevertheless they subsequently understood that these were an of import portion of readying for acquiring onto the board degree. Women brush challenges of pigeonholing as they approach the board degree because the construct of ‘Think manager, think male ‘ still exists. Women by and large have a inclination to be omitted from the powerful corporate webs which are more or less male dominating ( Ibarra 1992 ) . Women by and large avoid the necessity for pull offing acquaintance and upwards consequence, retreating from the ‘promotion game ‘ ( Singh et al. 2002 ) . The Higgs reappraisal ( 2003 ) points out that merely 4 per centum of new managers were interviewed for several places ; but all others knew the appointers that interviews were non deemed indispensable.

There are assorted theories associated with Women ‘s slow and limited promotion on to the board of managers as compared to work forces:

1 ) Social Identity Theory: The Social theory mentality ( Tajfel 1982 ) provides understanding with respects to the assorted jobs, which adult females face in deriving entree to the board degree. In this the persons are grouped with their societal designation with personal features viz ; sex, age, occupation degrees. The Social individuality theory predicts that successful female managers would hold likely backgrounds to male managers but would necessitate some extra qualities to get the better of advantage over male opposite number.

2 ) Tokenism Theory: As Kanter ( 1997 ) notes, that whilst adult females are in minority at the board degrees in administrations they are assumed to be ‘tokens ‘ . The nominal theory proposes the per centum of representation with regard to the population as depicted in Table 1.

Table 1: Token Theory

In skewed population the isolation is less for minority persons. Tokens at the board degrees need to supply attending and do determinations with respects to the behavior so that they can suit in the group utilizing energy which the male opposite number need non pass. Kanters ‘ provinces that, if there are two adult females at the board degree, the isolation is negligible.

3 ) Resource Dependency Theory: This theory states that in longer run the board members recruited need to supply the administration with attack to resources in signifier of human capital ( Pfeffer and Slaancik 1978 ) .4 ) Human capital theory: This theory predicts that merely the personal with significant human capital is contemplated for a place at the board degree. Womans need to get big human capital than their male co-worker so that they can get the better of the glass ceiling barriers and can pull the attending of persons who select the managers ( Becker 1964 ) .

5 ) Social capital theory: Social webs is an indicant of societal capital, and the theory predicts that directors higher up the hierarchy ( largely male ) would hold strong connexions through their webs with others at the board degree and this is a point of attractive force to the administration seeking managers.

Statisticss reveal that 97 % of Fortune 100 administrations have minimal one adult female executive on their boards and 188 administrations in the Fortune 500 have two or more adult females managers ; 34 companies have three or more adult females managers ; 16 of 100 Senators are adult females which is an all clip high ; 74 adult females sit in the House of Representatives. ( Beginning: Interrupt the Glass ) . If this is the instance so why do adult females still need to contend for the privilege to come on to the board degree? To get the better of this, many states are now go throughing statute laws in assorted sectors to guarantee female engagement on senior degrees in the administration.

The Sex favoritism act came in to existence in the UK in 1975 and the Equal wage act in 1970. The European committee announced the Equal Treatment Directive ( 1976 ) and the first World conference for Women was held in Mexico in 1975 where the United Nation Organisation emphasised the significance of Women in society. In India, about 450 work forces officers join the Short Service Commission ( SSC ) every twelvemonth. Out of these 280 choose Permanent Commission, and about all are selected. In instance of adult females, 200 officers are selected, and no 1 is offered a Permanent Commission. The Women ‘s Reservation Bill was passed in March 2010 by the Rajya Sabha, which was a discovery of the Delhi High Court taking the supposed glass ceiling by allowing Women a Permanent Commission in the armed forces. The High Court, whilst let go ofing the order, stated that inequality was non tolerable, and the new policy provided adult females officers Permanent Commission.

To interrupt the glass ceiling, administrations need to find the visibleness degree at which they lack adult females in senior functions, but besides need to detect what are the sensed barriers and besides to recognize the endowments and divergency adult females brings to the concern.

2. Critically discuss the benefits and/or drawbacks associated with female engagement on an administrations board of managers.


Consolidation and globalization of administrations ( Fryxell and Lerner 1989 ) are the major alterations go oning in western states and there has been a challenge due to the productiveness and efficiency of Nipponese and Asiatic states ( Aktouf 1992 ) due to which many administrations have moved towards flattened administrations abandoning the direction manner based on hierarchies. This requires transformational manner of leading to which adult females are best suited as it ‘s profoundly rooted in adult females ‘s socializing experience ( Rosener 1990: 124 ) .

Women leading is linked with bettering negociating accomplishments, a endowment for harmoniousness edifice and a balanced universe position ( Johnson 1990 ) which is a cardinal competency required at board degree.

One of the strong features of adult females is emotionalism, and adult females tend to utilize this as their strength at board degree to construct relationships with their subsidiaries and equals to assist them make determination on clip.

When board includes adult females at board degrees, there tends to be better administration and see diverse voices ( Fondas and Sassalos 2002 ) . They besides suggest that adult females have transformational and collaborative leading manner which leads to more civilized council chamber behavior.

There is a positive relationship between corporate administration and adult females at manager degrees. Presence of adult females at board degree show important high public presentation in non-financial steps and give more attending to moralss, struggle of involvement and codification of behavior which is an of import portion of any administration.

Engagement of adult females employee at board degree provides a symbolic value for adult females at junior degrees in the administration. Womans in council chamber Markss the possibility that even adult females can turn and make at board degrees and is of import in footings of aspiration degree which is a actuating factor in the administration ( Bilimoria 2000 ) .

Administrations with adult females at board degrees have high board independency and are more crystalline in footings of describing conformity, sequence planning, one-year reappraisals of accomplishments, experience and cognition at board degree and have higher degree of market capitalization ( Singh and Vinnicombe 2005 ) .


As suggested by Lips ( 1992 ) , positive stereotypes of adult females are earnest ( warm ) and caring and be given to be supportive of other adult females. Womans have unwittingly voiced norms for boss/peer interaction and adult females at work tend to respond to adult females as ‘women ‘ and to work forces as ‘bosses ‘ which tend to demo the behavior as excessively masculine or feminine. However Morrison and her co-workers conclude that at board degrees one should neither be excessively masculine nor excessively feminine ( Morrison et al. 1987 ) .

Social attitudes fail to fit the gait of altering societal tendencies ( Davidson and Cooper 1992 ) . Every adult females at some phase in life becomes a female parent and maternity with a professional function involves stress and they need to postulate emphasis. Desmarias and Alksnis ( 2005:459 ) argue the emphasis state of affairs becomes more worse with adult females ( specifically female parents ) at board degree because adult females tend to divert from the hierarchal duty.

Professionals make errors at work which are at times serious in nature and both adult females and work forces at board degrees want to cover personally with the deductions of their errors. Generally adult females tend to personally apologize to the clients when affected by mistakes, but at board degree administrations tend to differ to apologize to the client for fright of fring concern. Even adult females report strong emotions at the clip of errors and tenseness prevails while adult females deal with emotions and errors.

Study suggests that adult females face challenges to keep good emotional wellness due to miss of control to get the better of emphasis and depression ( due to work and household force per unit areas ) . This factor has negative impact on adult females ‘s sense of power.

Directors at board degree need to hold strong professional web, nevertheless adult females are non included in the web which acts a disadvantage.

Directors at board degree need to go to for new concerns and assorted other work in the administration. Women find going hard due to household concerns being a place shaper with respects to go forthing the household and kids ( if being a female parent ) .

Executing concern activities with adult females at board degree is comparatively a new experience for many work forces in client administrations, and there are little comfort issue whilst covering.

Womans can non take efficaciously as they lack ability to exert power which is a chief property of relationship orientation.

Women lack the ability criticise in an appropriate manner or even straight which is an of import facet as it values individualistic societies and Bolshevism in assorted states.


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