Women In The Workplace Essay

2373 words - 9 pages

Women in The Workplace

Gender plays a huge role in workplace 'success' and can be a big challenge especially if the employee is a woman in a male dominated workplace or career. No matter how 'hard-nosed,' 'ruthless,' 'workaholic' a woman may be, or how much personal success she achieves, there will always tend to be some type of obstacle to keep her from getting completely to the top of the corporate ladder. She must also still fight stereotypes that undermines her confidence or limits her potential. Since the early 20th century, women and minorities have sought equal opportunities in education and in the labor force with little success. These obstacles or barriers are all known as the glass ceiling.

When speaking of the glass ceiling, a reference is being made to an invisible, artificial barrier that prevents qualified individuals from advancing within their organization and reaching full potential. The glass ceiling describes the point beyond when women managers and executives are not promoted. These barriers result from institutional and psychological practices.

The glass ceiling exists and is evident in three different levels. These levels are: Apprenticeship, The Pipeline and Alice in Wonderland. Although not every organization has all three levels, one level could sometimes be more predominant in one part of an organization and not in another.

Apprenticeship

Women in the United States have been admitted into apprenticeship programs in large numbers, for so many years, that it is seemingly easy for young women to believe and for management to assert that discrimination is obsolete, and that the glass ceiling is either a myth or a subject that will automatically decay over time. The glass ceiling at the level of apprenticeship does exist and although the immediate economic consequences are not attention getting, meaning that very few apprentices sue, there are still serious long-term implications for many companies.

Every industry has its own version of an apprenticeship and the simple way to determine the boundary of apprenticeship is to find where in a particular company or organization, the line is that must be crossed before an individual is ?in the pack? to be considered for management or leadership.

According to the ?Sorcerer?s Apprentice to Through the Looking Glass,? women in every industry and profession report that sexual harassment is most common during apprenticeship. Sexual harassment is frequently defended as being just part of the normal hazing that is meted out to apprentices. It is one of the most important mechanisms that implement the glass ceiling at the level of apprenticeship. Although it may sound trivial to say that sexual harassment has a dramatically greater effect on women than men, it is important to understand that its use may be the difference in how well women perform during apprenticeship, and even whether they...

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