Understanding Career Barriers of Women Executives: Glass Ceiling and Glass Cliff

Understanding Career Barriers of Women Executives: Glass Ceiling and Glass Cliff

Nermin Kişi (Zonguldak Bülent Ecevit University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9171-9.ch010
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Inequalities between women and men continue in global labor markets. Although the inclusion of women as labor force increases day by day, their representation in senior management levels remains insufficient. Women continue to face several barriers preventing them from attaining equal access, participation, and progress in the business environment. Within this chapter, the authors discuss two types of career barriers called “glass ceiling” and “glass cliff,” which women encounter frequently in their work life. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general perspective on barriers of women's career advancement and to examine glass ceiling and glass cliff the in its background, its causes, and its consequences. The chapter also aims to analyze studies which criticize the concept of glass ceiling. The results of the chapter are expected to be a source for researchers in the areas of women's career barriers, women's leadership, and gender inequality.
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Barriers Of Women’S Career Advancement

Every woman’s career path in business life can be affected by various factors. In the literature, there are extensive studies focusing on the factors that stand in the way of the advancement of women in organizations. A brief review of pervasive barriers identified for woman employees to access in leadership positions is presented below.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Stereotype: A fixed, generalized, and biased thought about the members of a group.

Career: A professional development that a person wants to achieve in business life.

Equal Opportunity: Giving all people the same opportunities for employment, pay, and promotion, without discrimination as race, sex, religion, etc.

Gender Bias: A preference or prejudice against sex that advocates that one gender is superior to another.

Sticky Floor: A term which refers to low-paying, low-prestige, and low-mobility jobs typically held by women.

Discrimination: The practice of treating people differently or unfairly because they possess certain characteristics.

Crisis: The difficult or dangerous tension situation that occurs at an unexpected time which affects the current position and future of the enterprise.

Barrier: Something that prevents people’s movement or access.

Leadership: The ability to influence others’ behavior and actions to achieve a common goal.

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