Glass ceiling

From Academic Kids

A glass ceiling is an unofficial barrier to an upper management or other prominent position within a company or other organization which certain groups, particularly women, are perceived to be unable to cross, due to discrimination. The term refers to the inconspicuous nature of such barriers, compared to formal barriers to career advancement. It was originally coined by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt in the March 24, 1986 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The term glass elevator is sometimes used to describe the rapid promotion of men over women, especially into management, in female-dominated fields like nursing.

The term glass cliff describes a situation wherein someone, particularly a woman, has been promoted into a risky, difficult job where the chances of failure are higher.

There is also a sometimes-used term glass floor which describes the theory that some factor both limits women's progress but also limits their numbers in situations like imprisonment. Biological factors are often quoted, although obviously any research into this would be highly contentious.

See also

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