the glass ceiling for women in the workplace

Hey Besties! 

Can you believe it’s my last time talking to you? Hella sad faces :(( 

With this being my last post, I want to present the topic of the “glass ceiling” within the workplace. 

But, Bestie…What is the Glass Ceiling? 

The “glass ceiling” is an unofficial, yet, acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities where it is used to represent an invisible barrier that prevents a given demographic from rising beyond a certain level in an organization or industry. Investopedia has a published piece on the glass ceiling and here is a quote I found with some good background: “Marilyn Loden first coined the phrase “glass ceiling” while speaking as a panelist at the 1978 Women’s Exposition in New York […] This concept was later popularized in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article discussing the corporate hierarchy and how invisible barriers seemed to prevent women from advancing in their careers past a certain level. […] The equality gap varies between countries and may be driven by cultural stances against women and minority groups from participating in the workforce.” 

In statistical terms: In 2021, women accounted for 56.8% of the labor force in the U.S. But when it came to chief executive positions, women held only 29.1% of these roles, and 85.7% of chief executives identified as white, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are some gaps here that we need to fill here. Out of those statistics, over 85% of those CEOs identify as white…which had me thinking…what are the statistics and differences for black women in the workforce? I did some research and I found a published piece titled “For Women of Color, the Glass Ceiling is Actually Made of Concrete” written by Jasmine Babers. This piece goes into the differences that black women face in the workplace versus their white peers. A quote from the piece that piqued my interest was: “We all know the term “glass ceiling” — it’s the invisible barrier hindering the advancement of women in their professional lives. However, there’s a new term out there that may complicate the way we look at feminism: the “concrete ceiling.” Similar to the glass ceiling, the concrete ceiling is a barrier for success. The difference between the two terms is that the concrete ceiling is a term specifically made for women of color.” It is already extremely hard for women to thrive in the workplace and being a woman does not hinder your ability to work the same as a man. If the skills, education, and time management are all equal….why is pay and promotion not? 

Well….Can we break this glass ceiling???

YES!! Breaking the glass ceiling means overcoming the barriers set to prevent access to advancement. Breaking the glass ceiling also includes removing barriers for others experiencing the same struggles. Is this hard? Yes, but it is doable. The glass ceiling is seen in almost every industry from teaching, working in law, engineering, doctors or surgeons and MUCH more. I am graduating from JMU soon and I thought talking about this topic would help me boost my confidence and not beat myself up over promotions and things I will see once in the field that will primarily be handed to men. 

Here is a video called “What Works for Women at Work, Prove It Again” by Joan C. Williams and it explains the differences we see in men and women within the workplace. She goes into discussion about how women have to work twice as hard to prove themself half as much as a man. Williams also refers in the video to women’s success tends to be attributed to luck, while men’s is to skill. 

There is so much wrong here and so little solution without damaging your work-life balance and your mental health…I can’t fix a broken system, but I can crack the glass ceiling at least.

Well, thats a wrap besties 😦 I wish you ALL the best! I hope your day today and forever more is just as amazing as you are! ❤


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