How the ‘glass ceiling’ problem influences our society

When considering relevant and long-lasting issues that have been haunting our society and blocking it from achieving harmony, prejudice in the workplace is right at the top. The marketplace has been marked by significant factors of persistent gender inequalities – an aspect that should be considered when formulating employment and social inclusion policies. Thus, gender inequality can be considered as one of the axes of our unbalanced modern-day social structure. According to this essay on society, such social structure is rooted in the culture of an active and dynamic society which is dependent on the growth of quality and production offered to the public.

The role of women in the marketplace

In the course of history, a new profile has been traced in the way our society organizes itself and part of this transformation is attributed to the strong female performance in the competitive marketplace. Especially in the past decade and in Western societies, many women have gradually become more involved in social, professional, cultural, political and economic spaces which were traditionally “reserved” almost entirely for men.

When it comes to societal transformations, another factor to consider is the generalized globalization which aggravates competitiveness. This hunger for equality per se, in turn, generates an increase in the diversity and complexity within organizations as well as propelling new types of contradictions in these spaces of social interaction –  such as issues related to gender. In this context, organizations have new forms of conflict, which give rise to discussions and reflections related to the so-called ‘Glass Ceiling’ phenomenon.

 

What is the glass ceiling

The Glass Ceiling phenomenon proposes a model of discrimination, which assumes that the production capacity women is less than that of men on the basis that the latter is in full and ready capacity to create and innovate the tasks demanded by the market. In this way, women are underestimated in the scenario of an organization and start to fight for their inclusion and permanence in the marketplace.

In this widespread reality, it becomes clear that the career of women is constantly hampered by sociocultural aspects that despite subtle are very present. Unfortunately, even in the midst of such developments in our societies, we often witness jobs being assigned according to gender preference as opposed to qualification or competence. In other words, the Glass Ceiling brings up invisible barriers – derived from culture and society – faced by female professionals seeking recognition and stability in the corporate world.

 

Nevertheless, the growing female presence in the most varied organizations and marketplaces confirms the tendency that women have the same capacity and availability as men to deliver good work. Still, it is worth mentioning that unlike most men, many women have to meet the company’s requirements to extend work hours or to take work home while also performing their role as mothers or housewives. And although the structure of families is becoming more democratic (particularly in Western societies), this need to reconcile work and household duties are rarely the case with men. Besides a few exceptions, the majority of them may have greater flexibility to dedicate time to work because they usually have some help to care for their children and the household.

In the perception of some women, these invisible barriers tend to become higher and thicker over time since for many companies, a woman will only be able to fully devote herself to work in two occasions: if she does not have children or if they are already grown-ups. In any case, both scenarios paint a clear picture of the glass ceiling paradox and how embedded it is in our society.

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