“Why do you want to fit in the glass slipper, when you can shatter the ceiling?”

Around the world, in most developed nations, women are missing from the top of business corporations, despite the business case for gender diversity in decision-making, despite the fact that women make major purchasing decisions as consumers, and most surprisingly, despite the fact that 68 women have led their countries as presidents and prime ministers, and eleven countries have selected at least two women as president or prime minister.

What is actually a “GLASS CEILING”?

The term “Glass Ceiling” was used for the first time in 1984 by the editor of Working Women magazine, who states that “Women have reached a certain point –I call it the glass ceiling – in the top of middle management and they’re stopping and getting stuck”. However, the official definition was introduced in 1991 by the US Department of Labour. The glass ceiling was described as “artifice barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions”

The definition of “Glass Ceiling” as per Oxford dictionary is “an unacknowledged barrier to an advancement in a profession specially affecting women and members of minority from rising beyond a certain level in a hierarchy”

The definition of “Glass Ceiling” as per Cambridge English dictionary is “a point after which you cannot go Any further, usually in improving your position at work

While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals, women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Unfortunately, at the current time, 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15-49 have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period and 49 countries


currently have no laws protecting women from domestic violence. Progress is occurring regarding harmful practices such as child marriage and FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), which has declined by 30% in the past decade, but there is still much work to be done to completely eliminate such practices.


Apart from a few who have emulated the traditionally linear male career path, somehow the women don’t make it through to the board. The statistics indicate some evidence of a glass ceiling although it appears to be located at a higher level than before, as women have now achieved around a third of middle management positions in many countries. But there are still many barriers blocking women’s career paths to leadership positions. Some of the barriers are related to the women themselves, some to their organizations. But many are to do with the interaction between individual and organization, where the experiences at work are different for women because they are not represented at higher levels of the organization.


Generally speaking, between all the trouble in the world, women’s rights still stands out. This is a very important subject all around the world and makes the woman race feel equal and needed.

Women’s rights have been important since the 1800s and are still a debatable topic today. Even though the world think that-we women don’t have the potential to do anything but in fact all women should be equal and should have equal rights with men because women should have a say with what happens in this world and women can pretty much do whatever a man can do. Women have been struggling to advance in the face of discriminatory norms and implicit biases for generations, and though society has made big moves towards equality, the odds are still stacked against women who have the ambition to lead.


How Prevalent Is the Glass Ceiling Effect?

A 2003 report by the “Federal Glass Ceiling Commission” showed that only seven to nine percent of upper management at Fortune 1000 firms was women. According to a 2005 article by “Paul Igasak on the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal site”, a similar study showed that 97 percent of top executives at the same companies were men. Clearly, the effect is extremely pervasive. In fact, women’s entrepreneurial participation is up 10%: In 2017 163 million women were starting businesses and 111 million were running established businesses across 74


economies worldwide. As of now, the glass ceiling may not be broken, but persistent impact has started to form cracks.


What can the women do to break and shatter the glass ceiling?

Don’t procrastinate. Whether it’s a young girl raising her hand in class or a female entrepreneur launching a business idea, women tend to hesitate. All too often, this characteristic holds them back. The most successful women are risk-takers. Rather than waiting until everything is perfectly aligned before acting, they fearlessly dive right in.


Failure is not a weakness. Women strive to be infallible, however all great leaders stumble sometimes. What is crucial is how one responds to failure. Instead of berating themselves when errors occur, women should embrace mistakes and transform them into learning experiences.
Aim high. While men usually dream big, women tend to have more modest goals. Women should be encouraged to express ambition. Everyone should stretch their imaginations about the role of women in the workplace, and females should be empowered to strive for executive leadership roles.
Toot your own horn. Women traditionally downplay their accomplishments. Toss humility aside and boast about triumphs. Women should create online portfolios, publish blogs. They shouldn’t worry about coming off as blowhards—proudly highlighting their accomplishments positions them as dynamos.
Cultivate confidence and a sense of humor. Confidence helps women overcome stereotypes that hold them back. Humor enables them to stay positive and rise above discouraging situations.


Let go of perfection. Having it all is an elusive myth. Instead of striving for perfection in all areas, women should aim for growth in what matters most. This can be personal or professional and will morph over time.


To conclude, it can be said that the gender glass ceiling still exists in every field across the globe. Not only women represent less than 20% of senior management roles globally, but they are also paid lower wages for performing executive duties compared to their male counterparts. The governments do not pay enough attention to equal career opportunities for men and women and they constantly fail to develop adequate policies to facilitate women’s advancement. Also companies seem to challenge women’s development in their workplace. The companies are typically characterized by a masculine corporate culture. They often fail to establish salary tracking systems and to correct wages disparities. Finally, the mentoring and coaching programmes offered by the companies are often inadequate to women’s individual needs and block their potential development. It is worth adding that the most recent analysis, conducted by “Ernst and Young”, reveals that currently, women face multiple challenges in career advancement rather than a single ceiling. These multiple barriers often appear at the same time what seems to make women’s career progression more questionable but “WOMEN CAN AIM


Written By – Mansi Chahal