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Does A Glass Ceiling Really Exist In Corporate America

1380 words - 6 pages

Does a Glass Ceiling Really Exist In Corporate America?
Once upon a time, there was a very real glass ceiling for women in the working world. Getting a job was hard enough for a woman, getting a promotion was almost impossible. The majority of top male executives did once actively campaign and scheme to preserve their patriarchal reign over the business world. That was over eighty years ago and many changes have occurred in the decades that have passed. One thing that has changed little in all that time is that women still make up a small minority of Fortune 500 senior executives. Many women would claim that this is proof that they are still being actively discriminated against, but the ...view middle of the document...

In addition to legal protections against discrimination, educational opportunities have opened up for women. “According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of female students has exceeded male students since the 1980’s. In addition more young men than young women drop out of high school and the number of women staying in high school has exceeded the number of men since 1977. At the secondary education level women earned 62% of Associate's degrees, 58% of Bachelor's degrees, 60.0% of Master's degrees, and 48.9% of Doctorates (Hakim 42).” More women are seeing education as a viable option and for the most part they dominate the world of education. Though women are still a minority in the workforce, it is a slim minority, they make up almost half of American workers (49.9% in October) and run some of the world’s best companies, such as PepsiCo, Archer Daniels Midland and W.L. Gore.
With all the numbers showing women taking advantage of the opportunities they have fought long and hard to earn, why is it that so few (11%) have risen to the top of the ladder if it has become so costly to discriminate in a business world focused so heavily on making the most profit possible? It can be traced to a single choice that a majority of women make and a flawed mindset that most women hold: motherhood over career. While women have narrowed the gap on the number of women vs. men in the workforce, many women (47%) work part time. Marty Nemko, and expert career coach and educator explains “In the privacy of my office, many capable, highly educated women who, in public, may mouth politically correct mantras decrying the dearth of women in the boardroom, admit that what they’d really like to do is to work part-time if at all, and only on a pleasant job, so they can have ample time for home, family, friends, etc. Far fewer women than men are willing to work 58+ hours a week and to take work home or do extensive after-work professional development activities during evenings and weekend (Nemko 138-139).” It is the women’s choice to put work work-life balance over career advancement, and yet they blame the men for the consequences of that choice.
A woman’s choice to favor work-life balance over work as a priority may seem like a noble one because it is always stated as being for the good of the children, when in reality it is often detrimental to the child’s growth and development. "[A recent study based on over fifty years of research documented that children] whose mothers worked when they were younger than 3 were later rated as higher-achieving by teachers and had fewer problems with depression and anxiety (Luscombe 1).” Children of working moms get more social interaction in dynamic groups, such as day care centers, as opposed to the children of...

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