Have you ever been passed up for a promotion? In Texas and across the country, this happens every day. There are many reasons, but for marginalized groups, a glass ceiling may keep them from climbing the corporate ladder.
What is the glass ceiling?
The glass ceiling is a metaphor for marginalized groups, such as women or people of color, where an invisible barrier makes it very hard to rise above a certain level, regardless of their qualifications or achievements. It is a form of employment discrimination. For example, people often use this term in business to describe barriers that women face when moving up the corporate ladder.
In 1978, Marilyn Loden coined the term during a speech. Afterward, Maryanne Schriber and Katherine Lawrence notably used it while working at Hewlett-Packard. They described it as having a non-discriminatory written promotional policy, but in practice, it denies promotion to qualified females.
Why does the glass ceiling exist?
The glass ceiling exists because the workplace has significantly changed in the last half-century, where many women’s job was caring for the home. Though many women entered the workplace, the change in views about women working and being in power was much slower. The issues of how society conditions women and how women often shoulder childcare responsibilities are some of the reasons that have caused the unequal income between genders.
What can you do?
Since this affects their financial lives, one can do these things: negotiate for or pursue higher-paying jobs. By doing this, women can take responsibility for their development.
The problem lies not only in the individual but also in the corporations. Corporations can be more transparent with their hiring and promotion processes. Also, corporations can make more effort to hire women and minorities.