Essay - Glass Ceiling the Barriers that Hinder Career Advancement of Women...


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Glass Ceiling

The barriers that hinder career advancement of women are complex, and have become important issues for most corporations and the government (Adaire, 1994). "Glass ceiling" is a term that describes numerous barriers that prevent qualified individuals from advancing higher in *****ir careers. While many women hold management positions, few ***** made the breakthrough to top-level, executive positions.

According to stat*****tics, women ********** exist across corporate America, and ***** believe that *****y may actually be more effective managers than men (Patterson, 2005). In fact, women managers are consistently rated higher than their male counterparts on 37 of 47 critical management qualities such as leadership, social skills, problem solving and decision-making, according to a study by the H*****gberg Consulting Group, a management-consulting firm in Foster City.

However, some ***** the traits ***** make women successful middle managers ***** h*****der *****ir ability to become executives (*****, 2005). Many believe that this is because ***** focus *****o much on details, speak elliptically ***** do not take ***** many risks, ***** to the Hagberg study. Men have more of a tendency to see the big picture. The research included 396 women and 1,600 men, in addition to 360-degree feedback from supervisors and subord*****ates.

Despite female managers' high ratings in the *****, relatively few have achieved a senior level ***** their companies (Patterson, *****). Among Fortune 1000 *****, only seven have female CEOs, according to a recent article in Barron's magazine. According to Catalyst, a research firm, women ***** 10.6% ***** board seats at the n*****ion's 500 largest companies, a sm*****ll increase from the 8.3% they held in 1993. Also, women who hold director-level positions say ***** lack the ********** their male counterparts have on such ***** issues as management succession and executive compensation.

Women often ***** that the reason they ***** not advance as far as men is that men prefer to promote after their own image (Patterson, 2005). Too ***** women have the authority to hire, fire or determine compensation, and there simply ***** not enough role models or mentors for them at the executive level, says Barron's *****.

***** addition, ***** are other potential reasons for women's failure to break the glass ceiling (Patterson, 2005). ***** results of the Hagberg study indicate ***** qualities that make women successful at the mid-***** ***** are also harmful ***** ***** *****. The main hindrance seems to be women's perceived discomfort with risk-taking. The Hagberg study suggests th***** women, because they are so detail oriented, want all the data before they make ***** decisions. This conservative decision-making style, which has helped women reach ***** management, may discourage ***** from accepting career-advancing, high-risk assignments.

However, taking risks and accepting the consequences is a required skill in corporate America's top executives (Patter*****n, *****). "When you're ***** ***** *****, you're expected to act boldly, so failures are very likely and ***** v*****ible," says Hancock Williams. "If you're not ***** risks and dealing with fallout, perhaps you're demonstrating that you won't like ***** intensity [at the senior management level]."

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