Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Feminists are always trying to spread the word about the glass ceiling in business. What exactly is this glass ceiling that keeps women from advancing to higher title jobs? It’s an invisible barrier within corporations that make moving up the business ladder complicated or unachievable for women to reach.

Here is a little bit of history on how the glass ceiling came about. This phrase began to be used in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article and in 1991, the U.S. Department of Labor established the Glass Ceiling Commission. The Glass Ceiling Commission’s goal was try to eliminate this barrier that held women back in the business world. The definition of glass ceiling that the commission decided on was “those artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions.” Unfortunately, the Glass Ceiling Commission ended in 1996.

Feminist find the glass ceiling a major issue because it is what’s causing women to be unable to move up in the business world. This unreal barrier is the source of all our gender discrimination and wage gap between men and women. If women were allowed to get through this glass ceiling, it would make women closer than they’ve ever been to being equal with men. Some may say once we get through this barricade, women will be equal to men. It is hard for women to get past this barrier though when in most cases, their superiors are a group of men making all the decisions. A group that works toward fixing gender discrimination and breaking down the glass ceiling is the Feminist Majority Foundation. One of their goals is to break the inequality between men and women. If more women continue to fight for gender equality, this obstacle in front of women will deteriorate and start impacting the business world in a huge way.

I feel that when these glass ceilings start breaking down for women, it can tremendously help the business community as companies will get different ideas and feedback on how to make their companies more successful. Women have different approaches to certain situations than men and many of these approaches could actually help companies succeed. Although there are still some women who have broken through this glass ceiling and reached the top of some major Fortune 500 companies, we still need more women making the Fortune 500 list. A good example of a woman who was able to get past the glass ceiling is PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi. We do here that women are breaking down this barrier but it still exists because women everyday are being denied jobs or promotions based on their gender. For women to start seeing a difference in gender equality, we need more women in charge of smaller companies, owning more of their own businesses and being able to achieve CEO positions in larger companies. Not every businesswoman is going to become CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but there is a glass ceiling that needs to be broken in most businesses today, whether big or small.

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