The glass ceiling is a barrier that prevents an individual or group from going any higher within an organization. As it relates to gender and according to Northouse (2018), the glass cieling is an invisible barrier that is preventing women from obtaining higher positions within the work place. The glass ceiling is a term that can be applied to many groups, not just based on gender. When I was early on in my career I was working for a large insurance company and had not started my journey into college. I was working in a roll, with an interim title, that was vacated by the person before me and I did this role for eighteen months. The organization hired someone with zero experience but with a college degree. I would say that at the time and in my career I hit the glass ceiling. I was in a position where the roles that I wanted were looking for a person with experience and education. I was not able to advance in my role because I lacked education. This situation is what drove me to seek my Associates and eventual Bachelors degree.
The reports and research regarding the glass ceiling, as it relates to women, indicates that the vast majority of women experience the glass ceiling and are not able to obtain high ranking positions within organizations in the U.S. today. While the data indicates that things are improving for women, more women are able to obtain higher positions within organizations, there is a still substantial gap between them and what their male counterparts can experience. In addition, the research indicates that in many cases those that are able to obtain these upper echelon positions are often responsible for representing the entire women’s population and as such are subjected to more scrutiny and their work and behavior is commonly closely watched and examined.
Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Those invisible barriers which prevent one from gaining growth and or leadership positions was termed the glass ceiling. Reading our texts gives the impression that the glass ceiling impact on women is based off the fact that women have typically had the domestic and child bearing roles in our society therefore limiting their education and experience with the final result of hitting the glass ceiling. I have been fortunate in my work and have for the most part worked under leaders who wanted to see the underdog grow into those leadership positions. However, as a female, pregnant at 18 for the first time I limited my experience, education and growth. I started out in the lowest of food positions (waitress, hostess, ect
) but, because in my early years I was fortunate to have transformational leaders who helped me believe in the chance of success I was able to move up, obtain a bachelors degree and could now move back into the food and business field as a leader. At some time or another I think we all have hit the glass ceiling, having to face invisible barriers that prevent us from obtaining leadership positions. That is when it is important to have support from family, friends and coworkers who help us beat those barriers. An example is when I first entertained the thought of gaining more education, I had a boss who pushed me by advising me , providing financial and mental support AND providing me with more responsibility and a higher position at work.
Northouse, P, (2018). Leadership Theory and Practice (8th ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
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