- All socioeconomic groups have common needs and desires. However, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs physiological needs take precedence over all others. The strain theory states that societal pressures cause defiant behavior by individuals in pursuit of socially acceptable goals, such as money. Every socioeconomic group puts pressure on its members to succeed in making money but that the pressure is higher in lower income groups. If you have everything that you need already the pressure to have more is reduced and our most basic needs change.
- In today’s job market it is much more difficult to start at the bottom and work your way all the way up to a CEO position within the same firm. In large part I believe that this is due to the fact that it is considered important for those in top positions to have an extensive education which is not readily available to those employees that start in low-paying positions. In some companies you simply cannot move above a certain level without having a specific level of college education. Thirty years ago this was not the case. There was more of a possibility of promotion from the view of the employee than there is today. Education was a benefit and not a necessity to move above a certain management level within a company.
In order to make it possible for those of all socioeconomic groups to receive promotions befitting their potential we need to make access to higher education more readily available and based solely on the merit of the applicant rather than their economic means.
- Forbes list of the top earning 25 CEO’s does not include any minorities or women at all. This can be explained by both cultural norms that are still being changed, and time. It takes time for progressive thought to take hold and often at least one generation has to retire before to new values take hold. I would like to think that in fifty years we will have more minority and female CEO’s put into positions based upon their merit due to the opening up of new opportunities
- I believe that one’s social class does have an effect upon how high one might rise within a firms rank, but social class is more easily hidden than skin color or gender. Someone from a lower specific class can change the traits that identify him as being in that class in order to fit in better as he moves up the ladder in his company.
- The glass ceiling definitely exists but I believe that it is a matter of long held subconscious positions rather than overt discrimination. At this point in time there are far more white male CEO’s already in place and this has a become a norm that society is somewhat accustomed to. In order for this to change a women that wants to be the CEO of her chosen company will have to go above and beyond to prove that she is even more capable than her male counterparts in order to be considered for the position. This is an injustice but at this point in time it is a cultural norm. The women must act like a man if she is to get promoted. However as minority and female CEO’s are put into place we can hope that they will break the cycle and hold all of their employees to equal standards, eventually changing the cultural of our largest firms.
Denning, S. (n.d.). What Maslow Missed. Retrieved November 29, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/03/29/what-maslow-missed/