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Glass Ceiling

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Executive Summary

Men and women are entering the labor force in equal numbers but the majority of top management positions still belong to men. More women than ever are entering the labor force but the majority of top management positions in almost all countries are primarily held by men. Female managers tend to be concentrated in lower management positions and hold less authority than men. This suggests that something beyond just sex differences in career patterns must be at work to account for the huge difference in the number of men versus women in top management positions. Although women as a whole may place less emphasis on career success than men, there are a considerable amount of women who strive for top management positions and are unable to attain them. In a recent study almost three-fourths of women and two-thirds of men believe that an invisible barrier (a glass ceiling) prevents women from attaining top management positions. In this report we have tried to find out the barriers causing women advancement in organizational top levels referred to as “Glass Ceiling.” We have conducted our research among some of the top level organizations which are United International University (UIU), MERCANTILE BANK Limited (MBL), Islamic Bank Limited (IBL), and Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTBL). Without their support we couldn’t have completed this report. Here we have conducted research about some of the factors which correspondents have identified as the major factors. The main intention of this report was to find out the actual barriers (if there is any) causing women to stand back in line, although they are well qualified to move up in the line. Based on the responses of the participants\correspondents we have tried to put up this report.

1. Introduction

In this era of globalization women are close to dominating every field of work they are in. They are equally capable of carrying out any work they are assigned with. But due to the term “Glass Ceiling” women are somewhat left behind. “Glass Ceiling” refers to invisible barriers that impede the career advancement of women. It also refers to situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is halted at a particular level because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism. This situation is referred to as a "ceiling" as there is a limitation blocking upward advancement, and "glass" (transparent) because the limitation is not immediately apparent and is normally an unwritten and unofficial policy.

If glass ceilings existed, they would allow people to see through to the world above them. Because glass is clear, those existing under such a ceiling might not, at first, even notice that a barrier was in place which separated them from higher levels. Yet if they tried to pass through, they would quickly learn that the ceiling prevented them from doing that. But let’s face it. Women have known about glass ceilings in the executive suite and throughout all levels of the workforce long before the Wall Street Journal highlighted the problem in March 1986. It was coined in the media to describe what happens to women when they are denied opportunity to the upper levels of executive management. Thousands of qualified women and minority men are routinely denied top level jobs in corporate America. But instead of calling it racism, sexism, or xenophobia, we call it the "glass ceiling." For people confronting these barriers, it is discrimination - plain and simple

1.1 Origin of the report:
As a part of our Strategic Human Recourse Management course; under our instructor Taskina Ali we were instructed to prepare a paper on Glass Ceiling. This paper will deal with the causes and effects of glass ceiling.
1.2 Purpose of the report:
This study will help us in our near future. It’ll help us to know more about organizational culture. It’ll help us in our field of work as well as to take the right decisions.
1.3 Objective of the report: * To learn about Glass Ceiling * To know the factors causing it * To learn about its determinants * To provide meaningful suggestion to overcome it

2. Methodology

We have divided our source into primary and secondary sources. Both primary and secondary sources of data are used to complete the study these two sources are explained below: * Primary: The primary sources are the surveys conducted head to head and visit to four major organizations. We visited four organizations which are United International University (UIU), MERCANTILE BANK Limited (MBL), Islamic Bank Limited (IBL), and Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTBL). We conducted our interview among twenty respondents from which ten are male and ten females. Here we conducted face to face interview with open-ended questionnaire. Based on their responses we conducted our survey. * Secondary : Among the secondary sources of data, the mains are: * Search various websites * Recent articles * Relevant Books * Other reports conducted on this topic

3. Limitations

As the reality is infinitely complex, we could not gather all the data related with our term paper. Plus due to being a sensitive subject correspondents are quite reluctant to share their thoughts with us. We had pressure from other subjects which restrained us to give the best effort for this term paper. We could make this paper more resourceful if pressure from other subjects would not exist. Also we could not reach the best resources of this term paper due to lack of authority to access those resources. But none the less we have tried to give our best efforts and dedication in preparation of this report.

4. Glass ceiling at a glance
The term “glass ceiling”, first used in a 1986 Wall Street Journal special report on the corporate woman (Hymowitz and Schellhardt, 1986), described a corporate world in which access to the top for women was blocked by corporate tradition and prejudice. Since the publication of this article, the term “glass ceiling” has come to mean the invisible barrier that keeps women and minorities from rising above a certain level in corporations. Many attribute this barrier to be based on the factors of gender or race, rather than factors such as lack of ability to handle jobs at higher institutional levels.
Architectural textbooks have many references to ceilings made of glass. Of course, that's not what we are interested in here, although the fact that glass ceilings existed in the real world did lay the groundwork for the figurative phrase.
The term, in the barrier to advancement sense, was used by several writers on the topic of women in the corporate workplace during the 1980s. For example, Alice Sargent, in an interview about her book 'The Androgynous Manager', with the 'Washington Post' in 1987:
"Women in corporate America are bumping their heads on the glass ceiling."
The earliest citation in print that we can find is from an article by Nora Frenkiel about magazine editor, Gay Bryant - "The Up-and-Comers; Bryant Takes Aim At the Settlers-In.", Adweek Special Report; Magazine World, March, 1984:
"Women have reached a certain point -- I call it the glass ceiling. They're in the top of middle management and they're stopping and getting stuck. There isn't enough room for all those women at the top. Some are going into business for themselves. Others are going out and raising families."
Since becoming commonplace in contemporary language it has become generally applied to obstacles encountered in any field and by any group. For example, this piece of economic news from the Daily Telegraph, 1994:
"After several spirited assaults, the FT-SE's 3200 glass ceiling finally gave way yesterday, allowing the index to close sharply higher after a day of drifting."
Sexual discrimination was outlawed in the United States through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the hopes of allowing women to rise in the working world once proper experience has been achieved.
The term "glass ceiling" has been thought to have first been used to refer to invisible barriers that impede the career advancement of women in the American workforce in an article by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt in the March 24, 1986 edition of the Wall Street Journal. However, the term was used prior to that; for instance, it was utilized in a March 1984 Adweek article by Gay Bryant. The term glass ceiling was used prior to the 1984 article by two women at Hewlett-Packard in 1979, Katherine Lawrence and Marianne Schreiber, to describe how while on the surface there seemed to be a clear path of promotion, in actuality women seemed to hit a point which they seemed unable to progress beyond. Upon becoming CEO and chairwoman of the board of HP, Carly Fiorina proclaimed that there was no glass ceiling. After her term at HP, she called her earlier statement a "dumb thing to say."
However, the term was used by the U.S. Department of Labor in 1991 in response to a study of nine Fortune 500 companies. The study confirmed that women and minorities encountered considerable glass ceiling barriers in their careers; these barriers were experienced earlier in their professions than previously thought.
In 1992, a Federal Glass Ceiling Commission was established, created out of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The commission’s mandate was to identify barriers that have blocked the advancement of minorities and women as well as the successful practices and policies that have led to the advancement of minority men and all women into decision-making positions in the private sector. Their research was reported in two reports. The first, Good for Business: Making Full Use of the Nation’s Human Capital (US Department of Labor, 1995a), presented the findings of the research; the second, A Solid Investment: Making Full Use of the Nation’s Human Capital (US Department of Labor, 1995b), presented strategic recommendations based on these findings.
Participants in the Commission’s study agreed that a glass ceiling does exist and that it operates substantially to exclude minorities and women from top level positions of management. The Commission also found that increasing numbers of corporate leaders recognized that the glass ceiling (with its exclusion of members of groups other than white males) is bad for business. CEOs reported the need to compete in the changing business environment as the primary driver to address glass ceiling issues. They reported that glass ceilings exclude able people of diverse backgrounds from top leadership of corporations; and whom businesses need in order to compete successfully. Moreover, top quality people, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, are essential to the health and profitability of business (US Department of Labor, 1995a).
What has happened in the wake of these reports published in 1995? This study explores the visible and invisible barriers that have historically kept women from reaching upper levels of management. It reports the results from a small but representative survey of middle managerial women’s perceptions of career barriers and the initiatives their organizations have taken to reduce or remove those barriers.
While the Glass Ceiling Commission focused on the upper levels of the organization, the majority of working women live either on the “sticky bottom” or somewhere in the middle. Additionally, women today are able to peek through the glass ceiling, and some question whether the executive floor is right for them. What they often see is the need to work long and hard hours, often without equitable pay, and in an atmosphere that is not always friendly towards them. This, coupled with projections of increases in lower and middle level management positions, leads us to a larger question than, “Is there still a glass ceiling?” More importantly we need to ask, “How do we develop and reward those who choose lower levels of management as their career aspirations?” We propose this to be the most compelling reason to continue our focus on the glass ceiling.
(Jackson, July 2000)

4.1 The glass ceiling for women managers within the authority
Did the women managers experience a glass ceiling in the authority? In talking about how they see their careers progressing in the future, nine out of the ten managers felt they would not progress any further and there was a variety of reasons offered. For a working mother and a manager who is pregnant, family considerations meant that they did not wish to seek further promotion and increase their domestic and work pressures. Three of the older women managers felt that their age counted against them and in one case, her gender too:
The other two women were planning on taking early retirement and planned expanding their leisure interests. Underpinning these reasons, most of the women managers felt that career progression was not possible because of the lack of senior positions and the fact that there were no women at senior level. Two of the women interviewed were actively looking outside the council for promotion. The one woman manager who could see herself progressing further in her department recognized the barriers she had to face but had the support of her chief officer and had marketable professional qualifications and skills. The overall lack of career opportunities was obviously causing frustration to those women who wanted promotion. There was a level of resignation about the problem with managers looking elsewhere for promotion, directing their energies into their social life or looking forward to retirement. Davidson and Cooper (1992) have identified the stress that women managers can feel when encountering the glass ceiling. The women managers in our study were discovering the glass ceiling within the council as they entered middle management. This highlights the invisible nature of the glass ceiling and how it may not be readily perceived by both women managers and employers.

It was clear from the interviews that only a minority of the women interviewed had received careers advice at school. Three of the women felt that their first job was part of a career path and these were all graduates with vocational degrees. The other women “thought in terms of a job not a career” and entered traditionally female areas such as secretarial and administrative work. There seemed to be a difference between the younger and older women managers in terms of embarking on a career earlier rather than later. None of the women seemed to have had a structured career plan which they had kept to. All the women felt it was vital for women to have career development at all stages in their life. One of the women was taking part in a staff development scheme within her department and was finding it extremely useful. The other women were finding it difficult always to be self-motivated. None of the women had experienced a mentor/protégé relationship that had actively looked at their career progression:
A common factor to virtually all of the managers was that they had decided they were going to get professionally qualified in order to progress in their career. This had meant personal sacrifices, hard work and determination. However, once they were professionally qualified and gained promotion they found that they were not encouraged in their management development. Only three of the women had attended the authority’s management development course. The rest were unsure about how they were expected to develop.
There was a general feeling from all the women that women managers still have a harder time than their male counterparts due to attitudes held by men in the organization. Although the most blatant forms of discrimination against women in local authorities had been counteracted by equal opportunities policies, prejudices still existed. A couple of managers had felt that they hadn’t been successful in applications for jobs because they were women and one manager had found out that she was being paid less for a job that was previously held by a man.
The strains of balancing work and domestic life definitely affected the career progression of the women managers. Children had made the greatest impact on the careers of working mothers. While one older manager felt that child care had improved since she had her child in the 1970s, other mothers felt that their careers had been restricted in terms of flexible child care, mobility and attitudes of male managers. Balancing the demands of full-time work and child care was seen as very tiring. A couple of single women had caring responsibilities for elderly relatives. Because they did not have children they were expected to bear the brunt of dependent care by their families. This responsibility affected their career development with one manager taking a two year break from working and another restricting her mobility.
The women managers also felt that housework was their responsibility and often felt guilty if their career or studying did affect their responsibilities at home. What became clear from the interviews was that the relationship that a woman manager has with her partner is vital to her career advancement and stress levels experienced. For three of the women interviewed they had found their career and their relationships incompatible and had divorced. Only three women had children and all of these women had chosen to have only one child. Five out of the six childless women had chosen not to have children. This echoes the findings of Scase and Goffee (1989) that women managers are less likely than male managers to have children. Gutek et al. (1981) have argued that, in order to minimize their role conflicts, women managers may choose to remain single and childless.
The women managers interviewed raised a wide variety of solutions to the conflict of personal and work life. It was recognized that the authority offered a variety of flexible working schemes for women. Two of the mothers interviewed felt that more could be offered to women including after school clubs and phased working for women after maternity leave. Again, it was felt that it was important to change male managers’ attitudes to flexible working so that applications for job share, term-time working, etc. would not cause conflict. Davidson and Cooper (1992) argue that flexible working schemes enable organizations to retain women managers and local authorities are regarded as being a good employer for working mothers. None of the women interviewed suggested child care provided by the authority as a solution for the glass ceiling. They did however wish for recognition by employers of their responsibility for child and dependent care.
The women managers identified that the most important factor in juggling career and home life was to have a supportive partner and family. For those women who had stayed with their partners it was their positive attitude towards their career that had enabled them to become qualified and gain promotion.
(Veale, & Gold, 2001)
The term glass ceiling was coined prior to the 1984 article by two women at Hewlett-Packard in 1979, Katherine Lawrence and Marianne Schreiber, to describe how while on the surface, there seemed to be a clear path of promotion, but in actuality women seemed to hit a point where they seemed unable to progress beyond. However, Gay Bryant used the term prior to that, in one of his article published in Ad week, March 1984. A Glass ceiling is a specific type of gender or racial inequality that can be distinguished from other types of inequality (David A. Cotter et al (2001). In their study, they have identified four criteria that create glass ceiling: * A Glass ceiling inequality represents a gender or a racial difference that is not explained by other job-relevant characteristics of the employees. * A Glass ceiling inequality represents a gender or a racial difference that is greater at higher levels of an outcome than at lower levels of an outcome. * A Glass ceiling inequality represents 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. * A Glass ceiling inequality represents inequality that increases over the course of a career. (Afza, & Newaz, 2008)

4.2 The glass ceiling commission
Taking impetus from the Glass Ceiling Initiative, the Glass Ceiling Commission was established to study how businesses filled management and decision-making positions, corporate policies intended to provide career- and skill-enhancing opportunities, and current compensation programs and packages. The purpose of the studies was to develop recommendations aimed at eliminating the barriers to furthering the careers of women and minorities—simply stated, to break the glass ceiling. Almost unnoticed were two facts: that there was increased awareness of the glass ceiling and that the U.S. Congress had admitted that there was a glass ceiling. Membership of the commission included 21 members—6 appointed by the President, 6 more selected by a joint decision of the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, 1 member each appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate, and 2 House and 2 Senate members; it was chaired by the secretary of labor. Consideration was given to appointing representatives of women's and minority organizations, business leaders recognized as having positive attitudes on equal employment opportunity, and academics or others with expertise on employment issues, all intended to create a workable balance. The commission was to hold at least five open meetings in order to hear from a broad constituency base. These meetings were set up for the purpose of information gathering on all employment issues affecting women and men. The commission had no subpoena power, but information from federal agencies was made available for its use. Consultants and experts could be utilized within the budgetary power of the commission. The act set a date of 15 months for submission of a report to the president and Congress but at the same time gave the commission a four-year life span. Considering the past history of a lack of sympathetic understanding and awareness of the employment concerns of women and minorities, establishment of the Glass Ceiling Commission was indeed a remarkable event.
Even before the initial commission meeting, the scope of the body became more clearly defined. First, the promotion of workforce diversity was considered to be part of the group's function. As interviews for commission members proceeded, the task was expanded to include small and medium-sized businesses and a working relationship with the Small Business Administration (SBA). Small business operations employed 54.3 million Americans. Statistics showed that women had started new businesses at twice the rate of men in the late 20th century, an indirect benefit of the glass ceiling to women in business. Black-owned businesses had grown by about 40 percent, those owned by Hispanic Americans by 80 percent, and Asian American-owned businesses had increased more than 90 percent. Pipelines of Progress had identified a trend that women and minorities were judged on what they had done, while men were evaluated on what they could do. The findings of the Glass Ceiling Initiative combined with the data and various hypotheses as the basis for the work of the commission.
By September 1992 commission members appointed included blacks, women, a Hispanic American, and Henry Tang, an Asian American and vice president of Solomon Brothers in New York. Two of the more outspoken members were Carol Cox Wait, president and chief executive officer of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and head of a consulting group, and J. Alphonso Brown, founder of Brown Consulting Group. Senator Dole was also a member. Prior to the first commission session, Secretary of Labor Martin, as chair, sought input from the management of media outlets such as the New York Times Company, Time Inc., and 20 college presidents. She also indicated a third round of OFCCP compliance reviews would target a media organization and an institution of higher education.
The initial meeting was held in Washington on October 2. Brown immediately questioned the balance, whereby women's issues outweighed minority concerns. Before an audience of mostly white women, Martin assured him the commission would attempt to be sensitive to all groups. Tang warned of the far-reaching economic impact of the effects of the glass ceiling. Future meeting sites included Kansas City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York, with others possible. In November compliance reviews were expanded to include health care providers, financial services institutions, and law firms. Following the presidential election of 1992, Martin resigned her cabinet post; in the new administration of President Bill Clinton, the new Secretary of Labor Robert Reich named Joyce Miller as executive director of the Glass Ceiling Commission in April 1993. Miller had previously been vice president and director of social services for the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union, and she aggressively continued to expand the commission's focus. In June a wider range of jobs other than top management positions was added to the studies, especially those at the "mud floor," or dead-end, low-status, low-wage jobs.
Other agencies and organizations held their own hearings or conferences on the glass ceiling. In June 1993 the Small Business Committee in Congress scheduled a hearing and, at the Women's National Democratic Club the same month in Washington, a glass ceiling forum met with more revelations about women in employment. For many women, stereotypes about female employees, which led to a narrow band of acceptable behavior for women, and differences in their work-related learning patterns contributed to the ceiling. A survey showed that a greater percentage of women had a stronger tendency toward personal development than men, but more emphasis was needed in technical styles of learning. These and other conclusions moved the ceiling beyond awareness and toward household recognition. Awareness was seldom mentioned again as a problem.
The first commission meeting under President Clinton was held in late June 1993. In addition to reiterating a commitment to eliminating barriers, the commission recognized a subtle but meaningful change, based on the premise that the glass ceiling was built first and lower for minorities than for women. The wording of the phrase women and minorities was altered to minorities and women to reflect this emphasis.
A pivotal hearing was held in Dallas in early December. Covenants were introduced as a new strategy for penetrating and breaking the ceiling. The covenant was a corporate organizational agreement to disclose how women and minorities were advancing into top management positions. The city government of Dallas had encouraged over 200 businesses with contracts with the city to go public in relation to minority advancement, and a women's covenant was the next target. Mentoring programs were cited as a working solution to minority advancement. Other directions included summer intern programs for minorities and women as well as recruiting at traditionally African American universities and colleges. While noting slow progress, the commission heard from a broad range of businesses, from professional basketball to law firms. Commission members did agree on one key ingredient to success—commitment from top management. In a post hearing interview, director Miller pointed to solutions, not the problem. She said the focus had changed since initial DOL involvement to include anyone who wanted to move up in the workforce. Native Americans and disabled workers were part of the focus. Since 64 percent of new entrants into the job market were women or minorities, the ceiling would eliminate a great many talents and abilities of a large army of workers. Only a diversity program would ensure the breaking down of barriers in employment—what Miller termed "smart business." Although uncertain that new legislative proposals would develop out of the commission's report, she did cite the need for increased enforcement.
The April 1994 hearing was held in Cleveland, where the commission was told that shattering the glass ceiling was indeed a daunting task. One witness reported that the barriers were stronger than ever in retailing. Engineering was seen as another area where progress lagged far behind expectations. Minorities and women hired at the same entry-level pay as men rapidly fell behind in a field (engineering) dominated by paternalistic attitudes. Evidence was introduced that there was no equity in professional sports. The OFCCP deputy director pointed out that generally chief executive officers now understood the goal and that compliance reviews would number 40 in 1994 with an equal number primed for 1995.
In June 1994 Miller resigned as executive director to become an adviser on health-care reform to Labor Secretary Reich. Rene Redwood was named the new director. Redwood's prior experience included work as a consultant and district office director to District of Columbia Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. At the commission's August meeting in Atlanta, Redwood announced that the commission would report by January 1,1995. She commented that the report would be pragmatic and implementable and would not be shelved away to ignore. At the final meeting in September, Secretary Reich repeated earlier statements that the elimination of the glass ceiling had to start at the top of organizations. He compared the ceiling to the imposing architectural presence of the Capitol Dome in Washington. Despite the series of open forums and various testimonies representing numerous minority interests, many members of the Glass Ceiling Commission felt that they still lacked substantial information necessary for their report to Congress on the causes of discrimination. Member Carol Cox Wait expressed concern over wasting three million taxpayer dollars by failing to identify the root causes of the problem. Tang agreed, citing the lack of new knowledge. Several commission members wanted to retain the January 1995 reporting date, but still be able to provide additional materials and information at a later time.
During the fall of 1994, several important judgments against perpetrators of the glass ceiling were announced. In September, Georgia Power, Marriott International, and WordPerfect Corp. agreed to pay a total of nearly $500,000 to 68 women and minority employees who were paid a lower wage than others doing comparable work. The Atlanta-based Georgia Power agreed to pay more than $210,000 to 23 individuals, Marriott awarded $167,000 to 40 top-level staff members, and WordPerfect made payments of approximately $140,000 to just five employees. These awards followed upon a September 1993 settlement of almost $600,000 paid to a group of 52 women by Fairfax Hospital in northern Virginia. Another significant jury award in November 1994 paid $343,000 to a woman employed by Hondo Inc., of Chicago, a franchisee of Coca-Cola Co. The woman, an 18-year manager with Hondo, had been passed over for promotions on numerous occasions and was, as her attorney concluded, a victim of the "old boys network."

4.2.1 Commission reports and recommendations
On March 8, 1995, the commission voted to accept the final report. Nineteen members voted in the affirmative, one did not indicate a vote, and another withdrew from the commission due to time constraints. The report, Good for Business: Making Full Use of the Nation's Human Capital, was released on March 16. Criticisms of the ceiling dominated the report, which indicated that 60 percent of the country's population is represented in 7 percent of the jobs. The report labeled progress discouragingly slow despite recognition by America's corporate leadership of the existence of a glass ceiling, a ceiling the final report characterized as firmly in place as a barrier to the advancement of women and minorities in upper management positions at three levels—government, business, and society. Minorities and women expressed dismay and anger at the ceiling, despite corporate promises to correct the problems. In order to provide positive examples of breaking the glass ceiling, the report included brief descriptions of dozens of practices used by some companies to advance minorities and women.
The initial report was disappointing to the extent that recommendations were not included. The Glass Ceiling Commission, after four years, still faced the task of agreeing on recommendations to eliminate the barriers. But the subsequent events of 1995 did not bring a consensus among commission members until November. In June the Glass Ceiling Commission met in Williamsburg to develop draft recommendations and to address the "women only" concept, which ignored blacks. The commission surprised no one with the finding that 97 percent of senior managers at Fortune 1000 industrials and Fortune 500 companies are white or that 95 to 97 percent are male. The fact that the remaining 3 to 5 percent are white females further reinforced the decision to group blacks with women as those affected by the ceiling. Commission members fell short of agreement on recommendations at the Williamsburg session but did produce a working copy of proposals and recommendations. The proposals included grouping women and blacks as victims of discrimination and the elimination of what were referred to as" twofers," or black women counting in two categories—blacks and women—of those climbing the management ladder. More radical among the commission proposals was a call to require the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose the race and ethnicity as well as the salary of all board members and officers of publicly held companies. Other proposals centered on a media campaign to present the positive aspects of women in the workplace and to hold a national conference annually to promote and discuss glass ceiling ideas and progress.
The draft recommendations that were developed were sweeping generalizations such as eliminating the use of the word "minority" and providing sensitivity training in the educational system. Others called for zero tolerance of stereotyping and discrimination in the workplace, and for the selection of executives committed to diversity. Another recommendation was that incentives tied to breaking the glass ceiling should be related to salary. Educational targets included incorporating the concept of diversity in business school programs, reflecting more diversity in internship programs, and using community business leaders as role models in the schools. The general feeling was that there was little chance for reaching agreement on any recommendations. A June meeting was planned.
June turned into July and the commission met in Washington, D.C., on July 21 and 22. Again, there was little accord on recommendations, but there was consensus on several fronts. Commission attempts to address affirmative action were relieved in part by President Clinton's endorsement of affirmative action on the day prior to the commission meeting. There was agreement on the need to review the Equal Pay Act and update OFCCP guidelines to reflect 15 years of change since the program began. The issue of the SEC releasing gender and race information on officers and board members still created a split among commission members. By the end of August 1995, the commission had backed away from the SEC issue, and a draft list of recommendations was circulating among its members. The commission did develop a clear definition of affirmative action: "Affirmative Action is about opening up the system to all and providing a climate where everyone has a chance to succeed according to their efforts and abilities." The commission also encouraged retaining women and minorities when companies downsized.
On November 22, 1995, the final report was released. Entitled A Solid Investment: Making Full Use of the Nation's Human Capital, the report included 12 recommendations, 8 aimed at businesses and the rest at the federal government. Most were predictable but the simple fact that the recommendations were now in final form and ready for publication was a relief to the commission. Several business leaders, consulting firms, and women's advocacy groups reacted with a mixture of approval, relief, and concern.
The recommendations were sweeping generalities but all pointed to the necessity of shattering the glass ceiling. The report urged business and the government to work hand-in-hand to increase public awareness of information on race and gender in the workforce. The federal government was called on to "end systematic discrimination" by bringing pattern-and-practice class action suits and expanding the investigation of federal contractors.
The eight recommendations targeted at business predictably included the recruitment and training of women and minorities and the incorporation of diversity into strategic planning. The commission recommended that corporate executives be educated about the strengths and weaknesses of a diverse workforce and the challenges the future of the workplace presented. Corporations were encouraged to initiate family-friendly policies and adopt high performance standards for employees. All companies were also encouraged to release data related to the gender and ethnicity of their officers and board members. These recommendations did not represent new thinking in the eyes of most observers but their incorporation into a report to the president did lend legitimacy to the commission's findings.
Government recommendations included looking for ways to increase access to diversity data; updating antidiscrimination policies to reflect current workplace and social trends, practices, and laws; and closely examining those OFCCP practices that were hindering the hiring and advancement of minorities and women. A final commission recommendation focused on government agencies that collected data on gender and race, calling on them to discontinue the practice of double counting, whereby a black woman was listed in two categories—by race and by sex.

4.2.2 Reactions to the Commission’s work and subsequent events
A sampling of reactions from several affected and interested groups indicates a mixed review. The collection of data, which was not clearly specified, and some of the final recommendations aimed at the federal government would require legislation. The business recommendations were generally consistent with current practices and policies and did not represent any realistic long-term solutions. Edwin Bowman of Organization Resources Counselors, Inc. called the recommendations balanced, realistic, and good blueprints for action. Kelly Jenkins of the National Committee on Pay Equity felt the release of gender and race information for upper level management personnel was useless without accompanying salary data. Nancy Kreiter of Chicago-based Women Employed approved of the report and its greater use of affirmative action and the enforcement of discrimination laws. Gary D. Browne, director of equality programs at New York's Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, was disappointed with the mild nature of the recommendations. Browne was especially critical when it came to the OFCCP, feeling that the recommendations did little to strengthen its role. Overall, only time will tell if the final commission recommendations prove effective.
Since the Glass Ceiling Commission issued its recommendations, several events help to illustrate the level of commitment to breaking the barriers facing women and minorities in employment. Although these selected instances do not represent a sweeping change in corporate practices and attitudes, they are examples of how some employers have responded to diversity, discrimination, and promotion issues. In January 1986 a Richmond health carrier, Trigon Blue Cross/Blue Shield, agreed to pay more than $500,000 to minority applicants and women employees under an OFCCP settlement. The Miami Herald received a glass ceiling award, the Francis Perkins/Elizabeth Hanford Dole National Award for Diversity and Excellence in American Executive Management. Announced in March 1996, the award was given for the newspaper's sustained commitment to promoting women and minorities. Unfortunately, it was the last Perkins/Dole Award granted.
Nearly a year after the commission recommendations were announced, Catalyst, a nonprofit research and advertising organization supported by corporations, professional firms, and nonprofit foundations, published the Catalyst Census of Women Corporate Officers and Top Earners. The report concluded that only 57 of 2,430 top corporate titled positions were held by women and that only 50 (2 percent) of the top corporate earners were women. A December 1997 study by the International Labor Organization concluded that internationally, more women were in middle management positions but the glass ceiling still denied promotions to top positions. Women in Canada and the United States had fared better than most in the world, and the report was especially critical of Japan and the countries of the European Union. Finally, a study completed for the United States Postal Service (USPS) applauded USPS diversity efforts but concluded that the glass ceiling still exists. National trends still support the findings of the USPS study.
For women and minorities, the glass ceiling is still a barrier to jobs in middle and upper management. Like many government commissions, the Glass Ceiling Commission spent considerable time, money, and effort providing guidelines for businesses and government agencies in breaking the glass ceiling. Unfortunately, too little has happened to stop trends that block upward mobility for many Americans in the workplace, and the glass ceiling remains firmly in place as an obstacle to advancement for women and minorities. (Stith, & Anthony, 1996)
4.3 Types of glass ceiling barriers * Different pay for comparable work. * Sexual, ethnic, racial, religious discrimination or harassment in the workplace * Lack of family-friendly workplace policies (or, on the flipside, policies that discriminate against gay people, non-parents, or single parents) * Exclusion from informal networks; Stereotyping and preconceptions of women's roles and abilities; Failure of senior leadership to assume accountability for women's advancement; Lack of role models; Lack of mentoring. * Requiring long hours for advancement, sometimes called the hour-glass ceiling.
(Veale, & Gold, 2001)

4.4 Retention
The job satisfaction levels of women and minorities are often lower than those of white man. The main complaint among female and minority employees is that they lack career growth opportunities. The perception that their upward mobility is thwarted grows stronger at higher levels as women and minorities bump up against the glass ceiling an intangible barrier in the organization that prevents them for raising any higher position. Lower job satisfaction translates into higher resignation rates, which a resulting a loss of valuable talent and greater training costs because of higher turnover. At all organizational levels and ages the turnover rates for African Americans is approximately 40 % higher than it is for whites, for women the rates is more than twice as high as it is for white men.

The glass ceiling is not just a catch phrase, it reflects an undeniable reality. Women hold only 5% of the senior levels job in organizations and African Americans and other minorities fare even worse. They account for less than 3% of top jobs. A recent survey also shows that these numbers actually overestimate the amount of influence that women and minorities exert. For instance, the few women who do attain the executive suit still occupy mostly staff positions, such as corporate marketing, HR and the like. They seldom hold critical executive positions with profit and loss responsibilities.
(Mejia, Balkin, & Cardy, 2003)

4.5 The needs of diverse workforce to be met
To meet the career developments needs of today’s diverse workforce. Companies need to break down the barrier some employees face in achieving advancement. In 1991 the first major govt. study of the glass ceiling revealed that women and minorities are held back not only from the top executive position but also from lower level management position and directorships. The study revealed that the women and minorities are frequently excluded from informal career development activities such as networking, mentoring and participation in policy making comities. In addition to outright discrimination Some of the practice that contribute to their exclusion are informal word of mouth recruitment, companies failure to sensitize and instruct managers about equal employment opportunities requirements, lack of mentoring and too shift identification of high potential employees

Barriers to the advancement to the minorities and women continue to exist nearly 10 years after the initial government study of the glass ceiling. The office of federal contract compliance programs (OFCCP) enforce antidiscrimination laws covering federal contractors the OFCCP began monitoring the pay and promotion practices of companies doing business with the government in 1991. It has found problems is about half of the companies it has audited.

However, some of these difficulties have to do with gender- or race based pay differences rather than with mobility and promotion opportunities. A recent survey found evidence of a glass ceiling at universities. Although the number of women of faculty positions increased from 22.5% in 1974 to 1975 to 33.8% in 1997 to 1998, most women were in the lower ranks. In 1997 to 1998 only 18.7% of those at the top faculty rank of all professors were women.

A confidential internal report at Coca-Cola identified barriers to diversity, particularly for African Americans. The report identified not only glass ceiling wherein few black employee made it to senior levels in the company, but also glass walls. The notion of the glass walls refers to the channeling of minorities and women into non-revenue-generating areas of the organization. The areas, such as community relations and HR, are less likely than areas such as finance or marketing to lead the senior management positions. To improve promotion opportunities, the report recommends actions such as a monitoring program, a philosophy regarding diversity, and executive accountability for improving diversity.

Interestingly, the glass ceiling phenomenon may account, in part, for the explosive growth in small businesses in the United States. Approximately one-third of U.S. businesses, or 8 million, is female-owned. However, the number is likely to change. Female-owned businesses were created at twice the rate of the businesses. A study of female business owners found that a significant number were motivated to start their own companies because of the frustration of the corporate world and barriers to advancement.

There are signs of improvement in advancement opportunities women and minorities. For example, a 1999 U.S. Office of Personnel Management report found that 52 percent of promotions over the past year went to women. Currently, approximately 43 percent of the federal workforces are female. Of course 716000 women, 22 percent are employed at a senior grade level earning up to 125000 annually up from 13 percent in 1993. Although the glass ceiling isn’t broken in the public sector, it seems that it is at best being raised.
Evidence suggests that in the private sector the glass ceiling may be cracking in some industries. For instance in 1999 carleton “Carly” Florina became the CEO of Hewlett Packerd, a company with 123000 employees and $47 billion in annual revenue. Fiorina contends that the glass ceiling no longer exits in the information technology industry. She points out that the demand for computer scientists, engineers, and programmers is so great the companies cannot afford to be biased against women and minorities.
Although advancement of women in field such as information technology and engineering is notable, the glass ceiling still exists overall. Consider the sobering fact: in the fortune 1000 companies, women hold only 2.7 percent of the highest-ranking executive positions.
Other countries may have even stronger barriers to the advancement of women than the United States. The issues and application feature titled “Career advancement and Asian women: The Glass Ceiling Overseas’’ examines the glass ceiling in Asia.
Another employee group that may need special consideration is dual-career couples. Nearly 80 percent of all couples are working couples. The two income family is replacing the single income family as the norm. When both members of a couple have career issues at stake, personal lives can complicate and become intertwined with occupational lives. A career opportunity for one member that demands a geographic move can produce a crisis for the couple and their companies rather than waiting until they reach such a crisis point to resolve competing career issues, it is better for the couple to plan their careers and discuss and how they will proceed if certain options become available. This approach also reduces the possibility of abrupt personnel losses for organizations.
Some of the organizational approaches used to deal with the needs of dual-career couples include flexible work schedules, telecommuting and child care services. These kinds of practices have become more common over the past decade. A recent report by the Hay Group, a worldwide management consulting firm, concluded that the trends of more flexible and family oriented benefits are expected to continue.
Another survey of more than 1000 employers concluded that the 1990s might be referred to as the “family friendly decade” for example the survey found that 70 percent of employers offered some form of flexible scheduling in 1997, compared to 58 percent in 1992. The number of employers offering elder care benefits increased by 20 percent. 15 percent of employers offer sick child care programs. The increase in family friendly benefits is in response to workers demand for workplace flexibility and support so they can meet family needs as they maintain a career.
Some companies have also begun counseling couples in career management. These proactive programs, which involve both the employee and his or her spouse or significant other, have typically been reserved for executive and others who are considered key personnel in the organization. First, each partner individually comes up with his or her goals and action plans. Then the partners are brought together to share their agendas and work through any conflicts. Professionals’ counselors offer possible solutions and alternatives. The result of the process a joint career plan-is then provided to the organization. Employees and their partners benefit from this formulating a mutually agreeable plan, and the organization benefits by increasing the probability of retaining key employees. Indeed, recent findings underscore the importance of and potential benefits of dual career counseling and spousal support services. The level of work stress and job satisfaction experienced by dual career workers are significantly influenced by the spouse’s level of support; over the long term, lack of spouse support can have a negative influence on job performance and even cause a worker to leave his or her job.
Experts strongly recommend counseling and mentoring for dual career facing an overseas assignment a more common experience than ever before. Without a career support program, the employees may refuse the overseas assignments because of dual career issues or the expatriate may perform the assignment an adequately. These possibilities cost of organization dearly because high performers are often selected for such duties and the assignment typically involves hefty training, housing and moving expense.
Providing career development and support that involves the expatriate spouse or significant other can reduce an organizations risk. For example an organization may make the transition to a new place and culture easier for the couple by offering the spouse help such as membership in professionals’ organizations, tuition reimbursement, job search assistance and transportation to conferences.
Whether at home or an overseas assignment, a dual career couples concerns relating to family issues has been linked to stress, depression and anxiety for both men and women. At least one member of a dual career couple may have to spend work time on personal issues and problems. A growing number of companies are going beyond typical family friendly benefits and offering work-life-programs as a way to ease the stress of dual career couples. Work life programs are outsourced counseling and referral services that may offer assistance ranging from finding child care to finding a kennel for your pet or providing a lawyers advice.
Marriott international, for example, wants employees to be cheerful so they can offer effective customer service; Marriott has given its employees a work life program since 1996 at a cost of about $12 per employee per year. Considering the cost saving from factors such as lower absenteeism, Marriott estimates that it receives a 400 percent return on its investment. Work life program can assist all workers, not just workers who are part of a dual career partners may benefit the most from the program.
- (Mejia, Balkin, & Cardy, 2003)

4.6 Barriers that impede women’s career advancement
An investigation of the glass ceiling suggests that beliefs and attitudes held by organizational members (i.e. women are not viewed as leaders), as well as contextual aspects of the organization (i.e. social structures) contribute to the barriers that impede women’s career advancement. The literature on the glass ceiling suggests barriers that fall under the broad categories of corporate culture and corporate practices. Organizational culture is a popular concept with a variety of definitions, such as a pattern of basic assumptions developed as a group or organization learns to cope with its environment (Schein, 1985), or simply “the way we do things around here” (Deal and Kennedy, 1982). When a corporation has many more men than women (or vice versa) in influential positions, the culture tends to adopt attributes that favor the dominant gender, or what is referred to as “gendered organizations” (i.e. Klenke, 1996). In relation to the barriers that impede women’s career development, culture is further delineated into perception or stereotyping and organizational climate.
4.6.1 Perception and stereotyping
Despite the gains women have made, negative attitudes and stereotypes of women as leaders prevail (Klenke, 1996). A common perception is that men are viewed as the leaders in organizations, while women are viewed as the supportive followers. Frequently women themselves, working in male-dominated organizations, are less inclined to see themselves as leaders or seek leadership roles. The perception of women as followers is strengthened by a lack of strong female role models. In an environment where the number of women in key executive positions is minimal, it is difficult to develop a mental model of women as leaders. This inhibits self-perception and evaluation of a woman’s potential to be a leader (Davidson and Cooper, 1992), as well as anticipatory socialization.
Some of the Caucasian men reported to the researchers of the Glass Ceiling Commission (US Department of Labor, 1995a, p. 35) that they believed that “minorities and women are taking over and imposing different cultures and communication styles on them. They, too, feel excluded and angry”. Again, perception plays a role here. Ragins et al. (1998) reported that 40 percent of the female executives surveyed perceived white men fear reverse discrimination, compared to only 20 percent of the CEOs surveyed seeing this as an issue.

4.6.2 Corporate climate
Most women leaders do not share a traditional “old boy” network because they are often on their own. They often have to create alternatives to substitute for what informal networks accomplish.
The benefits of informal networking are well acknowledged as important to upward mobility, including information exchange, career planning and strategizing, professional support and encouragement, and increased visibility. While more women are taking up golf (a male-oriented informal networking activity), many women tend to network by joining female business networks. Discomfort on both sides leads to this exclusion (Davidson and Cooper, 1992). Another related factor is the issue of family responsibility. Women with major child rearing or elder care responsibilities find it difficult to engage in after-hour activities, therefore missing out on the opportunity to “schmooze with decision makers” (Castro and Furchtgott-Roth, 1997).
Another gender related barrier is personal and professional style. Ragins et al. (1998) report that 96 percent of the female executives they surveyed felt they had to develop a professional style with which male managers would be comfortable. Closely related is the practice of management and leadership. Many organizations still embrace a “male-oriented” management style, where direct and aggressive behavior is the norm. However, when women embrace this style, they are frequently labeled as “bossy” and “pushy”, whereas men using the same behaviors are labeled “leaders” (Davidson and Cooper, 1992). Interestingly, aggressiveness, objective thinking, dominance, competition, and decisiveness are characteristics often found in leadership research studies as preferred by both men and women as desirable (Klenke, 1996). However, when women display these traits, they often receive negative evaluations; while men displaying the same traits are positively evaluated. Women report the perception that if they adopt a “feminine” managerial style, they run the risk of being viewed as ineffective, and if they adopt a “masculine” style, they will be criticized for not being feminine (Ragins et al., 1998). While once women were expected to assimilate and become “one of the boys”, there seems to be a trend away from that, particularly with the attention now being paid to women’s leadership styles (i.e. Rosener, 1990). However, in male dominated organizations, women often feel under-utilized and devalued. Women are not only excluded from informal networks, but also from important meetings where decisions are made. Women tend to be given lower level projects with less visibility. Women’s ideas are frequently discounted or ignored, creating the “invisible-woman syndrome”.

4.7 Initiatives that organization can take to reduce or remove these barriers
The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission found evidence of initiatives that companies can take to reduce or remove career barriers to women and minorities, which they clearly outlined in their report (US Department of Labor, 1995b). As with the barriers, these practices fall generally under the categories of corporate culture and actual practices and relate to the barriers addressed earlier.
4.7.1 Corporate culture
If organizations are interested in retaining talented women and minorities, a change in organizational culture is called for. Male-dominated organizations still appear to have perspectives that are incompatible with the advancement of women into upper management levels. This is evidenced by the small number of women at top executive spots, as well as the number of women who leave the corporate environment to form their own companies. Readdressing human resources policies and practices and changing the organizational culture and executive attitudes should help organizations retain highly talented women.
One of the most important factors for addressing the glass ceiling is CEO commitment. The Commission stated, “The CEO must communicate visible and continuing commitment to workforce diversity throughout the organization” (US Department of Labor, 1995b, p. x). The Commission recommended that companies include diversity in all strategic business plans and hold line managers accountable for progress. Short- and long-term objectives should include efforts to achieve diversity both at the senior management level and throughout the organization. Additionally, performance appraisals, compensation incentives and other evaluation measures must reflect a line manager’s ability to set a high standard and demonstrate progress toward breaking the glass ceiling. Additionally, it was recommended that while organizations cannot make members of society blind to differences in color, culture, or gender, they can demand and enforce merit-based practice and behavior internally.
CEO commitment goes beyond EEO compliance to include sensitivity to issues concerning women and their advancement into higher levels of management. The Commission recommended that companies provide formal training at regular intervals on company time to sensitize and familiarize all employees about the strengths and challenges of diversity. Maier (1997) suggests that “white-male managerial behavior” is unconsciously accepted as the norm to which everyone who wishes to be a manager must aspire. Maier suggests that succeeding by assimilation to this norm blinds white men to the potential limitations of the system and how others are disadvantaged by the system.

4.7.2 Corporate practices
Organizations are encouraged to select, promote, and retain qualified individuals, expanding their recruitment practices and seeking candidates from non-customary sources, backgrounds, and experiences. Policies need to be in place that support the promotion of qualified women to management positions, and thereby attempt to retain this valued resource.
Recommendations to improve opportunity include expanding women’s access to core areas of the business and to various developmental experiences, such as rotational and non-traditional job assignments that broaden the base of a candidate’s experience and visibility. This is supported by the Gordon and Whelan (1998) study, where 65 percent of the women interviewed stated the need for continued achievement, accomplishment, and perceived value to the organization. They also suggest that organizations must be willing to take a chance on talented women who have not held the prerequisite jobs but have the credentials for the position. Ragins et al. (1998) reported that 94 percent of their study respondents regarded handling difficult or highly visible assignments as important to their success. They also reported the need to seek out these assignments more so than their male counterparts.
Along with challenging assignments, the Glass Ceiling Commission recommended that organizations initiate specific career path programs that identify objective performance, skill, and knowledge criteria for advancement. Closely related to career development are the need for feedback, and the importance for men and women to receive regular performance feedback on an equal basis. Closely tied to career development is the recommendation that organizations establish formal mentoring programs that provide career guidance and support to prepare minorities and women for senior positions. Additionally, employee-sponsored networks and affinity groups were seen as important developmental tools for those seeking higher levels of responsibility. Schwartz (1996) suggests that by joining a women’s group, one has the opportunity to develop strategies for addressing common problems and issues. Gordon and Whelan (1998) suggest encouraging mid-life women to act as mentors to younger women.
Work/life and family-friendly practices and policies benefit all employees, and are an important step in an organization’s commitment to hiring, retaining, and promoting both men and women (US Department of Labor, 1995b). Policies should be adopted that recognize and accommodate the balance between work and family responsibilities that impact the lifelong career paths of all employees. Such practices include flexible hours, child care and elderly care programs, and job sharing. Additionally, as important as the formal policies, are informal practices that support the policies, i.e. reinforcing flextime by prohibiting meetings outside the core flextime hours (Gordon and Whelan, 1998). (Jackson, July 2000)
4.8 Women surpassing the glass ceiling
Although some believe there to be a glass ceiling, many women have still found much success. When at the top management, many women feel like outsiders. Most of the time they are the only female at that level and are surrounded by males. Some women have faced sexual harassment, wage inequality, blocked movement and gender stereotyped roles. Women are said to have different styles of leadership and management once they break the barrier. They are generalized to be more nurturing and caring in nature than men. Men are stereotypically, more “tough” and shrewd in business, which are sometimes seen as positive traits. Women’s traditional role is in the home, taking care of children, and keeping house. The stereotype of maternal leadership stems from that. Some men in senior management that do not want to see women climb the corporate ladder believe that they do not have the qualities to lead a company. Many believe that making assumptions about the way women act in a leadership position perpetuates the stereotypes that cause the glass ceiling.
There are many reasons why women have found success. Some believe that having women on an executive board is a positive thing. Women make 60% of all purchases in the United States - therefore it may be of benefit to have their opinion. The more women that are accepted into management positions, the more will get promoted to senior management and serve as role models for the younger. Younger men have also been more accepting of female superiors. The perception of a woman’s role is changing with the younger generation. However some authors would attest many barriers still exist (e.g. Eagly (2001), EHRC (2009), Lond, (2010)). Stereotyping and bias are issues which organizations are often trying to understand and tackle to ensure fairness. Much is left to rhetoric about equal opportunity and diversity, but where adequate diagnosis of the organizational issues are not conducted, so therefore implementation of successful strategies are limited.
Women who break through the 'glass ceiling' may also face a glass cliff whereby they are more likely than men to occupy risky or precarious leadership positions. It is still difficult for women to break the glass ceiling to reach the top echelons in organizations, with still very few women at the top of organizations, as some research has shown.
Many believe that men in female-dominated professions, such as education or nursing, also face a glass ceiling. However others (Hutlin, 2003) believe that due to the widely existing role model for men, in these sectors they even experience a "glass escalator" effect, where they are promoted quickly into top positions. ("Glassceiling," 2009)

4.9 Glass ceiling- A Dilemma of women empowerment
Recently I tried to emphasis on the women entrepreneurial process to enhance my knowledge, in view to the current situation of Bangladesh. I really wanted to learn more about the women holding the top position of any organization. Its came to me as a real surprise that there are only few of them who holds these kind of position in Bangladesh, where a nation is ran by a women. As a matter of fact the women that hold the top positions of any organization are only because of their heredity, or the venture has been initiated by her. It is a real shock for any one, as women empowerment is the most concerning issue for any developing nation like Bangladesh. Women, has been contributing a lot to the economy of Bangladesh in various ways from the last decade. From cultivating land to producing goods that brings foreign currency, women are working in all spheres of the society. But what they face? Discrimination in wage, brutal killings, deprivation in work along with family problem is the gift of her labor. Not to mention the administrative contribution of educated group of women, this has acclaimed glory to the Bangladesh, time to time. But various organizations in the country do not evaluate the role and task of women properly. Women who are eligible for any top level post of any organization are abounded due to some glass ceiling. Glass ceiling which is an invisible barrier of an organizational hierarchy, which create obstacles to any employee to climb the tree of organization. Women, who are equally qualified, face deprivation than their male colleague in the workplace as of glass ceiling existing in an organization. But it should be remembered that it is the women who has the ability to run a nation and also spoil one too. They bring lives, they nurture it, they educate it, and they contribute in any sphere of human life. It is really awesome to see many women joining the workforce every day. Women who had to fight to join the workforce in Bangladesh need to be praised properly. Everybody should be aware to provide women the value that she deserves in the society. Proper wage, work security, proper evaluation of her works and above the position which she deserve in the organization, need to be ensured. Like the western world we would defiantly want to see a woman as a CEO or Managing Director of any organization in Bangladesh one day, which will ensure the proper right of women in the workplace. (Kasem, Jul 30, 2010)

5. Study Findings & Analysis

5.1 Respondents under the different age category
5.1.1Respondents under the age category 29 & under

Fig: Respondents under the age category 29 & under, there are 5 respondents and among them 3 of the respondent said YES and 2 of them said NO, regarding glass ceiling.

5.1.2 Respondents under the age category 30-44

Fig: Respondent under the age category 30-44, there are 14 respondents and among them 8 of the respondent said YES and 6 of them said NO, regarding glass ceiling.

5.1.3 Respondents under the age category 45 & above

Fig: Respondents under the age category 45 & above, there are only 1 respondent, which said YES regarding glass ceiling.
5.2 Respondents under the different gender category
5.2.1 Male Respondents under the three age category

Fig: In our survey there were sample sizes of 20 respondents, from which there are 10 male respondents. In age category 29 & under, there are 2 respondents. In 30-44 age categories there are 7 respondents and, in age group of 45 & above there is only 1 respondent.

5.2.2 Female Respondents under the three age category

Fig: In our survey there were sample sizes of 20 respondents, from which there are 10 female respondents. In age category 29 & under, there are 3 respondents. In 30-44 age categories there are 7 respondents and, in age group of 45 & above there is no respondent.

5.3 Respondents believe towards barriers for women progressing to top level of management 5.3.1 Male’s believe towards barriers for women progressing to top level of management

Fig: Among the 10 male respondents, 6 of them said Yes, that there are still barriers for women progressing to top level of management. On the other hand, 4 of them believe that there are no barriers for women progressing to top level of management.
5.3.2 Female’s believe towards barriers for women progressing to top level of management

Fig: Among the 10 female respondents, 6 of them said Yes, that there are still barriers for women progressing to top level of management. On the other hand, 4 of them believe that there are no barriers for women progressing to top level of management

5.4 Respondents’ identifying the factors causing glass ceiling 5.4.1 Male respondents’ identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

Fig: The identification of glass ceiling by male respondents is that, 3 of them said Management perception, 1 said Organizational policy, 4 said to Women are less hard working, 4 votes to Women can’t handle pressure, 3 votes to Work-life conflict, 3 said to Women are less efficient, 1 said that Sexual harassment, 4 said that Male employees feel discomfort with having female managers, 4 votes to Male employees’ network and their hold on powerful positions, and finally 4 votes to Insufficient opportunities in my organization for female employees.

5.4.2 Female respondents’ identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

Fig: The identification of glass ceiling by female respondents is that, 4 of them said Management perception, 3 said Organizational policy, 2 said to Women are less hard working, 3 votes to Women can’t handle pressure, 3 votes to Work-life conflict, 2 said to Women are less efficient, 2 said that Sexual harassment, 4 said that Male employees feel discomfort with having female managers, 5 votes to Male employees’ network and their hold on powerful positions, and finally 2 votes to Insufficient opportunities in my organization for female employees.

5.5 Respondents’ under the different age category identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

5.5.1 Respondents’ under the age 29 & under category identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

Fig: The identification factors of glass ceiling in age ranging 29 & under respondents is that, 1 of them said Management perception, 0 said Organizational policy, 1 said to Women are less hard working, 0 votes to Women can’t handle pressure, 1 votes to Work-life conflict, 1 said to Women are less efficient, 0 said that Sexual harassment, 2 said that Male employees feel discomfort with having female managers, 1 votes to Male employees’ network and their hold on powerful positions, and finally 1 vote to Insufficient opportunities in my organization for female employees.

5.5.2 Respondents’ under the age 30-44 category identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

Fig: The identification factors of glass ceiling in age ranging 30-44 respondents is that, 5 of them said Management perception, 4 said Organizational policy, 5 said to Women are less hard working, 6 votes to Women can’t handle pressure, 5 votes to Work-life conflict, 4 said to Women are less efficient, 3 said that Sexual harassment, 5 said that Male employees feel discomfort with having female managers, 7 votes to Male employees’ network and their hold on powerful positions, and finally 5 votes to Insufficient opportunities in my organization for female employees.

5.5.3 Respondents’ under the age 45 & above category identifying the factors causing glass ceiling

Fig: The identification factors of glass ceiling in age ranging 45 & above respondents is that, 1 of them said Management perception, 0 said Organizational policy, 0 said to Women are less hard working, 1 votes to Women can’t handle pressure, 0 votes to Work-life conflict, 0 said to Women are less efficient, 0 said that Sexual harassment, 1 said that Male employees feel discomfort with having female managers, 1 votes to Male employees’ network and their hold on powerful positions, and finally 1 vote to Insufficient opportunities in my organization for female employees.

5.6 Respondents’ perception that women are happy under glass ceiling

5.6.1 Male respondents’ perception that women are happy under glass ceiling

Fig: Among the 10 male respondents, their perception that women are happy under the glass ceiling, 4 of them said No to this statement, 5 said SOMEWHAT and only 1 said DON’T KNOW, that women are happy under glass ceiling.

5.6.2 Female respondents’ perception that women are happy under glass ceiling

Fig: Among the 10 female respondents, their perception that women are happy under the glass ceiling, 9 of them said No to this statement, and only 1 said DON’T KNOW, that women are happy under glass ceiling.
5.7 Respondents’ observations about glass ceiling present in their organization 5.7.1 Male respondents’ observations about glass ceiling present in their organization

Fig: According to our survey there are 20 respondents and among them 10 are male respondents, of which 6 said NO, 3 said Somewhat Agree, and 1 of them said Don’t Know about the glass ceiling present in their organization. 5.7.2 Female respondents’ observations about glass ceiling present in their organization

Fig: According to our survey there are 20 respondents and among them 10 are female respondents, of which 5 said NO, 4 said Somewhat Agree, and 1 of them said Don’t Know about the glass ceiling present in their organization.

6. Suggestions

* Work hard; there is no substitute for hard work.

* Seek work you enjoy and you’ll never work another day in your life.

* Do your homework before you make proposals. Make study a lifelong habit.

* Analyze! Analyze! Obtain all the credible data you can find. Consider the pros and cons of every decision. Weigh them against alternative decisions, especially when the pending decision can change your life, e.g., choosing a career path, a school, or a job change.

* Dare to take calculated risks based on credible data and analyses.

* Be prepared; when opportunity knocks, be ready to open the door.

* Take advantage of networking opportunities. Networking is more than exchanging business cards; to be truly effective, join organizations with which you share common interests and support them by serving on committees and contributing your knowledge and experience if it is relevant to the issues at hand.

* Build on what you already know; you will attain the depth and breadth of knowledge and experience that provides the launching pad for your next opportunity.

* Exceed expectations; those who do are more likely to be recognized and given new opportunities.

* Never assume you already know everything about any subject.

* Keep an open mind.

* Learn from leaders.

* Be aware that policies on paper handed down from “headquarters” do not always translate in real life as intended. Listen to the staff who are working directly with clients. They often have a more realistic sense of whether the policies they have been asked to implement are having the intended results.

* Seek mentors.

* Be a mentor; help others to multiply the knowledge you have attained.

* Collaborate: emphasis on collaboration is a key factor in many of the most effective organizations.

* Give credit to those who help you achieve your objectives. It is amazing what can be achieved when you do not care who gets the credit.

* Work within the culture of your environment to gain the confidence of peers and supervisors. Your opinion must be valued if your efforts are to be effective.

* Use thoughtful judgment when working with others.

* Demonstrate confidence without being arrogant.

* Be a team player.

* Maintain your principles and integrity in a non-threatening, respectful manner.

* Be patient with those who do not understand.

* Take responsibility for your own actions.

* Be dependable; if unforeseen circumstances prevent your keeping a commitment, notify your supervisor and colleagues as soon as possible (ASAP). This may help them to implement “Plan B.”

* When you make a mistake, admit it ASAP. Some organizations establish procedures for relating to the media if the mistake has possible negative consequences:

* Deal with it promptly.

* Tell the truth.

* Do not attempt to cover up the error. A cover-up is often more damaging than the inappropriate action.

* Handling the mistake in this way may help to make it a “one-day story” rather than having it drag on until “60 Minutes” investigates it.

* Know when to dig in your heels on a controversial issue and when to compromise. Almost without exception, laws that are passed are a product of significant compromise. * Take a lesson from how high profile professionals work together to achieve positive results. The late Senator Ted Kennedy (Democrat) and Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican) had fundamentally different philosophies. Yet they worked together and took leadership for encouraging their colleagues to pass significant legislation that benefits families. They maintained respect for each other even when they disagreed. * Consider: Is this issue worth a battle? Some issues are not. * Determine the difference between “a war” and “a battle.” You want to win the war even if you lose some of the battles. * Using leadership ability wisely is a key factor in breaking the glass ceiling. Leadership does not always have to be on a large scale to be effective. Consistently taking responsibility for making thoughtful, rational decisions, one at a time, can be just as effective as making a single big splash. * Respect cannot be bestowed; respect must be earned, and is an essential factor in becoming a leader. * Your actions will always speak more loudly than your words.

These suggestions are steps that can be effective in helping to break the glass ceiling. No single one of them, alone, is likely to break the glass ceiling. Rather, they should be accumulated.

7. Conclusions

The most striking feature to come out of the research is that the glass ceiling for women managers is a complex phenomenon. From the interviews of women managers in the authority, it is clear that the issue stretches beyond the employment sphere into women’s position in society. The causes of, effects of, and solutions to, the glass ceilings are wide-ranging and fundamental in nature. The research carried out within the authority confirmed that a glass ceiling did exist within the council and this inhibited women’s progression into senior management. The causes of the glass ceiling within the council reflected the general causes within British organizations emphasized in the literature. The women managers interviewed thus confirmed that women’s progression was held back by a lack of career counseling at all stages in their careers, conflicts between personal and work life, and a lack of management development for women. There was, however, a particular emphasis on the culture within the authority and the way male councilors and managers reproduced an anti-female ethos which formed the crucial negative hindrance to their progress. The male-dominated council and senior management structure perpetuated a working atmosphere and management style that went against the team working and collaborative style preferred by women managers. The effect of the glass ceiling within the authority is that women are not equally represented in senior management; women middle managers felt frustrated at their lack of progression and may leave the organization.
Finding solutions to the glass ceiling for women managers is a much more difficult problem. This research has discovered that the solutions are extremely wide-ranging covering women’s career counseling and planning to a fundamental change in organizations’ culture and the role of women in society. The women interviewed did not want special treatment or positive discrimination, but equality of opportunity within the workplace. They recognized the complexity of the issue and that it was only through a culture shift, fully supported by both members and senior management within the authority, that the glass ceiling could be smashed. However this “traditional” call for a culture shift by others underrates the ability of the women managers themselves to construct alternative accounts that favor women and shape actions accordingly. While the stories of male councilors and managers in the authority may be dominant and seem more “true”, even to the women managers, such stories can be challenged and rival versions produced. Social constructionist can provide the basis for a critique of taken-for-granted views of reality (Burr, 1995). The women managers researched in the paper are capable of critically reflecting on the discourses that frame their lives and they may reproduce through their own talk the very inhibiting conditions that they seek to remove. In other words, the women managers need to become builders of the facts that make their culture by developing skills of presenting arguments and telling good stories. Thus the talk of collaboration and team work could be developed into a representation that became part within their organization of an ongoing conversation which simultaneously became part of the culture that provides a positive consequence for women managers. Perhaps the first step is to draw on different discourses and different metaphors which are more liberating than the story of the glass ceiling.

8. Reference * Afza, S.R.A, & Newaz, M.K.N. (2008). Factors determining the presence of glass ceiling and influencing women career advancement in bangladesh . BRAC University Journal, V, no.1, 85-92. * Chadwick, A.C.C. (November 12, 2009). Shattering the glass ceiling: suggestions for success. Retrieved from * Glass ceiling. (2009). Wikipedia,the free encyclopedia. Retrieved April 16, 2011, from * Jackson, J.C.J. (July 2000). Women middle managers’ perception of the glass ceiling. October 1999 , Retrieved from * Kasem, N.K. (Jul 30, 2010). Glass ceiling- a dilemma of women empowerment. Retrieved from * Mejia, L.R.G.M, Balkin, D.B.B, & Cardy, R.L.C. (2003). Managing diversity. Human Resource Management (pp. 131-132). New Delhi, India: Pearson Education, Inc. * Mejia, L.R.G.M, Balkin, D.B.B, & Cardy, R.L.C. (2003). Managing diversity. Human Resource Management (pp. 297-300). New Delhi, India: Pearson Education, Inc. * Stith, J.S, & Anthony, B.A. (1996). Breaking the glass ceiling: racism and sexism in corporate America. Retrieved from * Veale, C.V, & Gold, J.G. (2001). Smashing into the glass ceiling for women managers. Retrieved from

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