Gender roles are a social construct that happens around the world. Because of them, people follow certain stereotypical paths based on their gender in both their personal and professional lives.
The glass ceiling refers to the metaphorical barrier that prevents a woman from advancing beyond a certain level in a company or any organisation due to prejudices against women. These included societal, governmental, internal business, and business structural barriers. For example, a woman may do the same job as a male colleague and have the same qualifications, but may never be promoted to a senior level.Marilyn Loden coined the phrase “glass ceiling” at the 1978 Women’s Exhibition.
Within the same concepts of other terms surrounding the workplace, there are similar terms for restrictions and constraints related to the roles women play within organizations and how they reconcile this with their maternal duties. These “invisible barriers” serve as metaphors to describe the additional circumstances that women go through, typically as they try to advance in their career fields and often in their lives outside of their places of work.
Similar profit dynamics play out within companies. Academic research indicates that employing a greater proportion of women acts as a deterrent effect on the risky investment behavior of men. Mixed gender teams of fund managers outperform funds managed by single-gender teams by balancing risk and generating less volatile returns. A glass ceiling represents inequality: A gender or racial difference that is not explained by other job-relevant characteristics of the employee. A gender or racial difference that is greater at higher levels of outcome than at lower levels of outcome. A gender or racial disparity in the likelihood of advancement to higher levels, not just the proportion of each gender or race currently at those higher levels. A gender or racial disparity that widens over the course of a Career. Glass ceiling typically refers to an upper limit to professional advancement, especially as imposed upon women, that is not readily perceived or openly acknowledged. Highly capable women fill comparable roles in other sectors where the glass ceiling is much less of an issue.The glass ceiling isn’t just about women’s choices or how they should navigate the world and the workplace. Women are performing in the same way as men, but their performance is discounted or even rated more poorly. Women may choose to pursue more flexible work arrangements, which then make them less visible to the people who are making the decisions about who is a star performer or who should be promoted.
What is the solution to develop and retain female talent? Part of the answer lies in rethinking how business is done? To begin with women being lazy, moody or only meant to delegate work to their subordinates mindset needs to let go. Keeping pace with a generation used to communicating and contributing remotely means that businesses must incorporate a model to accommodate as many roles as possible to enable agile working and flexibility. This is also with reference to context to valid reasons for accommodation for women who return to work after a substantial career break. Women are not allowed to grow exponentially based on several reasons like a gap in the career because of several responsibilities shouldered by women at home and managing children etc. Besides, lack of competency in handling roles that are technical and very high on operations and escalations owing to a typical stereotypical mindset of “women are too fragile and not meant to be aggressive with either number driven approach or quantitative data or for simple reasons that narrow down to not being an engineer (so lack of technical know how).Typical examples may include, being excluded from leadership training workshops or networking events.
Being subjected to degrading and disrespectful comments based on race, sexual orientation, gender, or class and Lacking the proper resources and tools to succeed at jobs. It is very important to shatter the glass ceiling and voicing any opinion on advocacy around any gender bias and unconscious biases as well in workplace. If one notices a pay gap between oneself and other male counterparts, one must highlight one’s strengths well. This is to highlight meritocracy in work and intent towards it by focusing on abilities and the career goals that one has set out to reach.Setting proper promotion and diversity goals will help bring women’s skills to the top where they’ll continue to grow, rather than limit their both men and women leaders to share their experiences. Each side needs to listen and reflect on their experiences to explore what is common and what is different. The end goal should be a sustainable organization in terms of diversity and inclusion. Letting go of the ‘maternal wall’ which typically puts women at a more significant disadvantage than men when trying to find work.
Women must be aligned to equal opportunities for regular coaching and mentoring, to help gain tools, along with perspectives to break the glass ceiling in the workplace, whether it is holding a single woman or her colleagues back in any field. Company leaders should use their networking and strength of relationships to help women gain more visibility. Mentoring alone does not equal promotions for women, but sponsorships may be the key to breaking workplace gender barriers.If women identify what is really important to them, they can work with others at home and at the office to create strategies to overcome the glass ceiling.Women must believe in their aspirations and maintain self-confidence, and talk openly about their accomplishments to get noticed and go after what they wish to achieve in their early 20’s or mid 30’s. The recognition of talent must be placed above gender biases and stereotypes for organizations need to implement structured systems and practices to break glass ceilings and make space for women
-© Mayaa SH