Due in 2 hours – 4 peer responses – 60 wordsRespond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings.Christopher:The glass ceiling is a phenomenon in which women disappear as one looks up through the

Due in 2 hours – 4 peer responses – 60 words

Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings.


The glass ceiling is a phenomenon in which women disappear as one looks up through the levels of an organizational hierarchy (Fernandez & Campero, 2017). The glass ceiling can be described as a vertical form of job gender segregation or discrimination and this process can occur either internally, as in promotion practices that allocate individuals to higher levels of the organization, or externally, as reflected in hiring patterns (Fernandez & Campero, 2017). This glass ceiling has also been conceptualized as the invisible barrier that prevents women from ascending into elite leadership positions. This concept implies that everyone has equal access to lower level positions until all women hit this single, invisible, and impassable barrier, despite having the professional experience or educational/professional backgrounds to qualify them for these higher level organizational roles (Northouse, 2018).

           Research tells us that the predicament of female leadership has improved significantly in recent decades, but that there is still a very long way to go in this area (Northouse, 2018). For example, women earn 57% of bachelor’s degrees, 60% of master’s degrees, and more than 50% of doctoral degrees, and make up nearly half of the United States work force (Northouse, 2018). Despite these numbers, however, women are still underrepresented in upper management and leadership roles within American corporations and our country’s political system, and women represent only 5.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs (Northouse, 2018). Research also tells us that this phenomenon of the glass ceiling has a significant impact on women in today’s labor force. For example, the glass ceiling impacts women’s and men’s investments in human capital, causes organizational members to consider gender differences between women and men, and can cause prejudice and discrimination against female leaders (Northouse, 2018). For these reasons, understanding the research regarding gender and leadership can help us promote women to upper level positions of leadership and can help fulfill the promise of equal opportunity by allowing all individuals regardless of gender the possibility of taking on leadership roles (Northouse, 2018). Promoting a rich diverse group of women into leadership roles can help make societal institutions, businesses, and governments more representative, but can also contribute to more ethical, productive, innovative, and financially successful organizations that demonstrate higher levels of collective intelligence with less conflict (Northouse, 2018).

           As a male, I have not personally had any professional experiences pertaining directly to me in terms of the glass ceiling. However, I have observed others’ experience these types of barriers. For example, I have several female friends who have earned Master’s and Doctorate degrees in a variety of fields (e.g., MBA, Education, Medicine), but they have had the unfair and unfortunate experience of not getting hired for higher level jobs despite being extremely qualified for the position. In some cases, males with less professional experience and undergraduate degrees were given these positions, which was hard to explain and I am sure felt extremely unfair to the women involved. I have admired these women’s reactions to these circumstances though. For example, I have one friend who did not let the rejection of these positions dissuade her, and she actually went on to complete a second Master’s degree in a related field to only support why she is the most qualified person for that position. In my opinion, the glass ceiling can be an unfair “catch 22” for individuals involved – For example, in theory, a woman is not hired for a leadership position because she has no formal previous leadership experience. However, she is unable to get professional leadership experience and boost her resume due to the glass ceiling. I can only imagine that this is an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and I agree with the research that supports the notion that including women in upper level positions and leadership roles would promote the overall well-being of individuals, teams, groups, and the organization at large.  


Fernandez, R. M. & Campero, S. (2017). Gender sorting and the glass ceiling in high-

         tech firms. ILR Review, 70, 73-104.

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:

         Sage Publications.


At companies around the country, many face barriers that prevent them from reaching the positions that they’ve rightfully earned. An overwhelmingly amount of those people are women and minorities. In the 70’s and 80’s, as more and more women were protesting their right to advance, the phrase “glass ceiling” entered into mainstream culture as the defining term for that barrier that women face “Although the predicament of female leaders has improved significantly in recent decades, there is still a long way to go” (Northouse, 2018 sec 15.1 para 3). The glass ceiling has since been defined as the intangible barrier that prevents women from advancing into higher positions within their companies. 

Over the years, many experts have attempted to dissect the glass ceiling theory and get to the bottom of what causes it and how to defeat it. The evidence is overwhelmingly convincing. Recent studies and polls have shown that over 90% of the CEO’s and executives of Fortune companies are predominantly white and male. This image can be very discouraging for females and minorities as they feel as though they need to do more to standout and be noticed for their contributions and value. This attitude will almost surely lead to discontent with the workplace and their superiors. 

I have experienced this glass ceiling and have also witnessed other women and minorities go through this experience as well in the professional setting. There was a time when I was working for a national chain of fitness depots. My at the time had a boys club of employees who were in his inner circle. For six months I was working towards gaining a promotion and a pay raise and when the position opened and presented itself, I was passed over for one of my superior’s buddies in his inner circle. I was more qualified and more liked by the department but was still passed over in part due to politics and the glass ceiling in which I was not a part of the boys club. I resigned from that company due to that decision and it empowered me to reach higher and work harder than my colleagues.


Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Respond to at least two of your fellow students’ postings.


In the first discussion this week, the glass ceiling metaphor was defined and the presence of it in the workforce was examined. This post is a great follow up to that focusing on how women and men can both contribute to the overall effort of leveling the playing field and eliminating prejudices in the business world. Many organizations are starting to change their policies concerning work-life balance which include giving employees the opportunity to work remotely or to have flexible schedules. There are also many companies that provide both maternity and paternity leave for employees and support individuals that choose to take this time to be with their families. Organizations are also focusing on creating development or training programs for women and helping them move into more visible roles within the company (Northouse, 2018). Women are also taking strides in this area to be able to navigate the complex leadership labyrinth. Some women are choosing to become entrepreneurs and starting their own companies to ensure they do not get held back by the glass ceiling (Northouse, 2018). Other women are examining their leadership styles and being flexible to ensure they are coming across as accepting of others but at the same time highly competent in their positions (Northouse, 2018).

This type of change is not going to happen overnight. However, it is up to organizations and individuals to help foster it. Organizations will only start making these changes if the individuals within them lobby for these initiatives. Some groups may be more receptive and supportive to these changes than others. Research has shown that younger men or men from the millennial generation have become great supporters of women in leadership roles in the workforce (Abouzahr, Garcia-Alonso, Krentz, Tan, & Taplett, 2017). Organizations may look to individuals from this demographic group to get involved in campaigns around this topic. Another approach could be to focus awareness efforts on other demographics, such as older men that may not be as open to this type of initiative. The first step can be to spread awareness about the topic and start a dialogue about possible gender disparities within the organization. From there, individuals can focus on practical approaches to ensuring everyone understands the issues and the best practices to combat this antiquated practice. It is my hope that my children’s generation will not have to discuss or analyze a gender gap within the workforce and instead, their skills and capabilities will be the only criteria that is evaluated.

Abouzahr, K., Garcia-Alonso, J., Krentz, M., Tan, M., & Taplett, F. B. (2017, November 1). How millennial men can help break the glass ceiling. BCG. Retrieved from https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2017/people-organization-behavior-culture-how-millennial-men-can-help-break-glass-ceiling.aspx (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


As we have reviewed, the glass ceiling for women in the workforce is real. There are real barriers there that keep women from being able to grow within organizations and keep them from advancing to senior leadership roles. This barrier can come from their own organization or industry by seeing men as better leaders. It can come from their home-life, trying to balance work and their family. There are many ways this can become a true barrier for many different reasons, but it’s important that we all do what we can to eliminate the inequality that is a direct result of this barrier. Margie Fishman wrote a great article highlighting six ways organizations can shatter the glass ceiling. All organizations should make sure they are implementing these best practices daily: recruit and promote based on talent and potential; eliminate evaluation bias; encourage mentoring relationships; promote gender-neutral networking; adopt a zero-tolerance policy; and provide flex-time options for all, (2011).

As a woman trying to break through the glass ceiling, it can be very frustrating being told no and expecting it’s because of your gender. There are a few things someone in this position can do to overcome these barriers. The first thing is to know what is acceptable and what isn’t and standing up for what you believe is right. This can take time but it’s important to be patient but also assertive. It’s also important to take responsibility for your own development professionally. As an example, there may come a time a woman doesn’t feel as though she has been offered the chance at new opportunities. If this becomes a pattern, it may be time to grow elsewhere.

I do believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to make changes in the representation of female leadership among businesses and organizations. I believe as an individual, they are responsible for their own development and growth. It’s also the organizations responsibility to look past gender and understand that talent isn’t reliant upon the gender of the individual but what they can bring to the organization.

Northouse, P. (2018). Leadership theory and practice (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Fishman, M. (August 4th, 2011). 6 Ways to Shatter the Glass Ceiling from Above. Retrieved from: https://www.americanexpress.com/en-us/business/trends-and-insights/articles/6-ways-to-shatter-the-glass-ceiling-from-above/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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