The glass ceiling refers to an invisible barrier that hinders women from advancing to top levels of organizational leadership (Lewis, 2013). From my own perspective, I believe that the glass ceiling is something that has been there for many years as a result of cultural beliefs and myths that are of the view that women are inferior to men and therefore they should be submissive and not ambitious. The barrier does not only manifest itself in their quest for the top leadership but also throughout their career journey. I have seen this problem in an organization I worked with before where top leadership was mainly dominated by men.
I share Hymowitz’s optimism that things are getting better as the glass ceiling has been already cracked with more women taking senior leadership roles. In many companies the few women who have successfully reached the top are motivating more women to follow their footsteps and in so doing there is increased interest and hope for women to join the pool. This talent pool of motivated women is a great opportunity for more women to be selected for top management roles (Zokowski, 2013). I agree with her contention that women are taking different paths to senior level management because women are aiming towards making a difference and therefore pursue those career paths that they feel will take them there (Barsh and Yee, 2012).
I believe that the glass ceiling will eventually go away as more women are joining the top leadership circle. With more and more women attaining top leadership roles, women are being appreciated more for their talent and competencies. Many companies are recognizing the benefits of empowering women to take leadership positions and this may lead to a gradual increase in the number of top women leaders, a trend that could see the glass ceiling broken in the future (PDI Ninth House Global Leadership Solutions, 2012).
Barsh, J. and Yee, L. (2012). Unlocking the Full Potential of Women at Work: McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from. http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/womenreportnew.pdf
Lewis, J. J. (2013). Glass Ceiling: Definition: Retrieved from http://womenshistory.about.com/od/work/g/glass_ceiling.htm
PDI Ninth House Global Leadership Solutions (2012). Can Women Executives Break the Glass Ceiling?: Leadership Research report. Retrieved from. http://www.pdinh.com/lib/misc/CanWomenExecBreakGlassCeiling.pdf
Zokowski, P. (2013). As Women Take Leadership Positions in Cleantech, is the Glass Ceiling Cracking?: Retrieved from. http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/cleantech- gender-diversity-glass-ceiling