The Glass Ceiling and Its Various Friends

The Glass Ceiling and Its Various Friends

It’s odd that in Western society, a culture often seen as the forerunner on innovation and advancement, there is still a huge issue with the glass ceiling.

This isn’t the first time I have written about this subject, but for the first time, I feel I am on the precipice of grasping the concept and a number of its variations.

The glass ceiling is basically the invisible barriers that stop/hinder people from rising to the higher positions in the organization, regardless of qualifications and achievements. These ‘people’ are usually anybody but the white male (in North America) I’m unsure if it’s opposite in African Countries.

These barriers manifest due to conscious and unconscious stereotypes, prejudice, and bias related to gender and ethnicity. Below you will find an explication of a number of variances in the glass ceiling concept:

Brass Ceiling
The barriers in the traditionally male-dominated fields like law enforcement and military service resulting in women having difficulty gaining higher ranks.

Stained-Glass Ceiling
Relating to religion as you probably guessed, this variation is based on religious communities and the lack of women who gain a role in church leadership.

Bamboo Ceiling
The exclusion of Asians in executive and managerial roles.

Concrete Ceiling
Used for women who are minorities; it’s thought that for Caucasian women, the term should be glass ceiling as it is sometimes broken through, but for women who are minorities, the barriers are often solid and unyielding as they are facing both sexism and racism which obstruct their chance of advancing even more.

Glass Closet
The exclusion of openly gay men and women from certain jobs, especially ones that have a relationship with the media.

Glass Elevator
The theory that men are rapidly promoted over women, especially into management (this is also true to female dominated fields such as nursing).

Celluloid Ceiling
This variance refers to the lack of women within top positions in Hollywood (film studios, production etc).

Sticky Floor
Refers to women who are trapped in low-wage, low mobility jobs in state and local government.

Sticky Ladder
A variance used to describe the struggle of women who want to reach the top of the corporate ladder. Although they are able to reach the top, they usually get stuck in middle management.

Silicon Ceiling
Women trying to advance in technology based fields, and the barriers they face.

Anyways, each one adds a sense of depression to young women who learn and work hard, hopefully in the next couple centuries these inequalities will cease, to make you feel even worse, check out the table below.


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