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Glass Ceiling

What is a Glass Ceiling?

The glass ceiling is a term used to describe the invisible barriers that prevent women and minorities from rising in their careers. It is an insidious problem that has been around since the 1970s, but only recently has gained more attention.

This ‘barrier’ is often caused by gender and racial discrimination, as well as cultural norms and biases. Unfortunately, glass ceilings still exist today and can have a significant impact on one’s career prospects.


Understanding The Concept of a Glass Ceiling

The concept of a glass ceiling can be found in almost every industry—from corporations to government agencies—and has been known to limit advancement opportunities for those who are not considered part of the majority population. 

Despite numerous attempts to eliminate this issue, it still persists today in many workplaces across the country.

The effects of the glass ceiling are far-reaching. Not only does it limit advancement opportunities for those who are not part of the majority population, but it also stifles economic growth as businesses miss out on talented people who could provide valuable contributions to their organizations if given an opportunity to do so. 

Additionally, glass ceilings can lead to increased feelings of frustration amongst those affected by them, which can lead to decreased motivation and engagement in their work lives.

The glass ceiling has had a devastating effect on women and minorities in the workplace. Studies have found that while both genders may be equally qualified for a position, men are often given preferential treatment when it comes to promotions or other opportunities. 

This can lead to lower wages and fewer benefits for women than their male counterparts. Additionally, studies have found that many companies lack diversity at higher levels within their organisations due to this invisible barrier.  


The Adverse Effect Caused by Glass Ceilings 

Women and minorities often feel isolated in their workplaces because they are unable to advance due to this invisible barrier. This can lead to feelings of frustration, helplessness, and even anger towards those who are seemingly holding them back. 

Additionally, when women or people of color are denied promotions or higher positions due to this type of discrimination, it sends a message that their contributions do not matter or are not valued by their employers. 

This demoralises employees which can lead to decreased productivity and job dissatisfaction. It is an insidious form of discrimination that affects many workers today - especially those who identify as female or come from underrepresented minority groups.

The presence of a glass ceiling can also have an impact on overall company performance. Studies have found that companies with diverse leadership teams tend to outperform those that lack diversity at the executive level. 

This means that when employers allow factors such as gender or race to limit who is able to ascend into the C-suite, they could be missing out on valuable perspectives and insights that could lead them to success. 

Additionally, allowing a glass ceiling to persist could cause employees who are not part of majority groups at the company to become disengaged or disinterested in their work, which could further drag down performance metrics.


How to Break Through a Glass Ceiling 

Fortunately, there are ways for employers to combat the negative effects of a glass ceiling. DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) managers should work with their HR departments to create policies that protect workers from discrimination based on gender or race. 

Companies should also focus on implementing diversity initiatives that encourage hiring practices based on merit rather than any discriminatory factors such as gender or race.

They should also promote upward mobility opportunities through mentorship programs and targeted training initiatives so all employees have equal access to career advancement possibilities within the organization. 

Employers must create an inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and valued regardless of gender identity, race, age, or any other factor that may contribute to creating an unequal playing field in terms of career advancement opportunities.   


Break Glass Ceilings with inclusio

The inclusio platform empowers organisations by giving them access to important insights about their D&I initiatives, and makes it easy for companies to understand what steps to take. 

It’s an AI-powered platform that allows D&I teams to drive meaningful change, by tailoring the content to promote specific measures, and offering powerful analytical information and reports that stakeholders can leverage when taking important decisions.