THE GLASS CEILING
At the start of my PhD journey in 2011 I knew that my dissertation topic would be on The Glass Ceiling Effect. I believe that women in the US are not equal to male counterparts in pay and promotional advancements. As women we need to bring light to the issue and fight for EQUAL RIGHTS for women in our 21st century society.
What is the Glass Ceiling? – According to Lyness and Thompson (1997) a glass ceiling is a political term used to describe “the unseen and the unreachable” barrier that keeps women from rising to the upper echelons of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.
Cotter et al., (2001) defined four distinctive characteristics that must be met to conclude that a glass ceiling exists. A glass ceiling inequality represents:
1.”A gender or racial difference that is not explained by other job-relevant characteristics of the employee.”
2.”A gender or racial difference that is greater at higher levels of an outcome than at lower levels of an outcome.”
3.”A gender or racial inequality in the chances of advancement into higher levels, not merely the proportions of each gender or race currently at those higher levels.”
4.”A gender or racial inequality that increases over the course of a career.”
Initially, and sometimes still today, the metaphor was applied by feminists in reference to barriers in the careers of high achieving women. In a US Census Bureau Survey it was discovered that women made $0.77 to every dollar that a man made (with the same qualifications and experience).
ACTS FOR EQUAL PAY AND WOMEN’S EQUALITY
Several major acts in the USA have heralded the fight for women’s equality but we are still as equal as men. The acts are namely:
Women’s Suffrage Act – The struggle to achieve equal rights for women is often thought to have begun, in the English-speaking world, with the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). During the 19th century, as male suffrage was gradually extended in many countries, women became increasingly active in the quest for their own suffrage. Not until 1893, however, in New Zealand, did women achieve suffrage on the national level. Australia followed in 1902, but American, British, and Canadian women did not win the same rights until the end of World War I.
Women Right Act (Civil Rights Act) – The prohibition on sex discrimination was added to the Civil Rights Act by Howard W. Smith, a powerful Virginia Democrat who chaired the House Rules Committee and who strongly opposed the legislation. Smith’s amendment was passed by a teller vote of 168 to 133. Historians debate Smith’s motivation, whether it was a cynical attempt to defeat the bill by someone opposed to both civil rights for blacks and women, or an attempt to support their rights by broadening the bill to include women.
Affirmative Action -Affirmative action programs have played a critical role in opening up opportunities for women and minorities to begin to take their rightful place in our society. But equal opportunity for women is still a long way off. Eliminating or curtailing affirmative action would not only halt the forward progress that women, as well as minorities, have been able to achieve; it would mark a giant leap backward in this nation’s journey toward equal opportunity for all. Barriers to advancement for women remain pervasive and discrimination against women is deeply rooted in our society. Though much progress has been made since the days when classified ads listed job openings for women and men separately and many prestigious universities were completely closed to women, sex discrimination persists today.
Equal Pay Act – A federal statute which prevents discrimination in the payment of benefits or wages based on an individual’s gender when women and men perform work involving similar skill sets, efforts, and job responsibilities. The act became an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1963.
Women Equality Party
Women Suffrage History Act
Fifty (50) years women still fighting equal pay
Sheryl Sandberg Ted talks – Why we have to few women leaders?
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s on women’s pay
DEBATE – CONTACT ME on Twitter of Facebook. What are your views on women’s equality and the glass ceiling?
Cotter, David A., Joan M. Hermsen, Seth Ovadia, and Reece Vanneman (2001). The glass ceiling effect. Social Forces, Vol. 80 No. 2, pp. 655–81.
Lyness, Karen S., and Donna E. Thompson (1997). Above the Glass Ceiling?: A Comparison of Matched Samples of Female and Male Executives. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 82, No. 3, pp. 359–375, doi:10.1037/0021-9010.82.3.359.