Breaking the glass ceiling: Can women reach the top of America’s ..

Introduction; Formatting women corporate america glass ceiling thesis your ..


The main purpose of this report is to use data from the 2002EEO-1 Survey of Firms in Private Industry to explore the status ofwomen in management. The research will develop some new ways ofanalyzing the EEO-1 data that focus on access to managementpositions generally, and perhaps more importantly, access tomanagement positions at headquarter facilities. The primarycontribution of these analyses of the EEO-1 survey is the abilityto raise important problems and questions about gender-baseddiscrimination given the wide variations in the types of firms andindustries in the American economy. While this initial report on glass ceilings focuses on the status of women, the analyses developed here can be applied to examine minority groups.

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While the presence and status of women in the work force haveincreased dramatically since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of1964, there are still concerns about the relative absence of women in higher management ranks, which some have described asthe "glass ceiling." In 1995, the Federal Glass CeilingCommission concluded that"today's American labor force is gender and race segregated - whitemen fill most top management positions in corporations." The issuehas taken on particular significance as women and minorities haveincreased their occupational status. The term "glass ceiling" isgenerally used to refer to instances where women and minoritieshave progressed within a firm but, despite their ambitions and qualifications, find it difficult to make themovement into key higher level management positions, or managementpositions at all. The social disadvantage of these glass ceilingsis the inability of the most qualified employees to move into themost important positions due to irrelevant criteria such as race orgender. The selection of a less qualified employee negatively impacts both the employer and ultimately the economy as a whole. The successful elimination of glass ceilings requires notjust an effective enforcement strategy but the involvement ofemployers, employees and others in identifying and reducingattitudinal and other forms of organizational barriers encountered by minorities and women in advancing to higher level management positions in different workplacesettings.