Barriers Faced By Women Commerce Essay

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The glass ceiling is a concept that most frequently refers to barriers faced by women who attempts, or aspire, or to attain senior position (as well as higher salary levels) in corporations, government, education and non-profit organizations. It can also refer to racial and ethnic minorities and men when they experience barriers to advancement.

I observed that during the last few years a lot of women are going in management fields but not a lot of them are going an opportunity to get into the top management positions. This has got nothing to do with their abilities and dedication to their work, it is clear that glass ceiling is affected and stopping the woman from reaching the top managemt positions. The problem of glass ceiling persists in the others countries of the world as is clear from the previous researches but this problem is more evident in Pakistan . This is because despite the boom in education sector, the society still remains conservative and negative feelings and stereotypes do exist against women employees. As a result of the glass ceiling, the performance of women managers feels that they are not being treated equally. The develop the feelings that their efforts are not being properly rewarded. Due to the presence of pre-defined rules and regulation for promotions women working in public sector are not being affected a great deal by glass ceiling. Thus it is the private sector where the women are facing glass ceiling the most. The significance of the study is that the research team looked into the main problems which are prohibiting the women from going into the top management positions. By identifying the factors causing the problem the team will be able to judge the reasons and help eradicate them. It is important to look in the organizational factors that would help eradicate them. It is important to look in the organizational factors that would help the women to reach the top management positions as early as they deserve. This study is efforts to not only identify the factors responsible for affecting the performance of women managers through glass ceiling but also to give solutions to overcome from this problem.

The term Glass ceiling refers to gender discrimination that limite a woman as inferior and is harassed by the society. This has a subtle effect that blocks her peace of mind. It is the accepted domination practiced by stereotypical society that makes a woman weaker not only physically or mentally as well.


Over the past 25 years, the percentage of women participating in the work force has increased. However, this increased has been confined to entry level positions, while the middle and senior level management positions still reflect shortfall women.

According to LINDA WRITH , "Breaking Glass Ceiling through the women in management update 2004 , INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE , GENEVA , she told that "the overall employment situation of women has not evolved significantly since 2001 . The ILO's Global Employment Trends (2003) reported that women continue to have lower labor market participation rates, higher unemployment rates and significant pay differences compared to men. Women represent over40 percent of the global labourforce, approximately 70 percent of women in developed countries and 60 percent in developing countries. There has also been little change in their share of professional jobs in the last few years. Women occupy around 30 to 60 percent of professional jobs in the sample of countries from which new data were available.

This represents an increase of 0.7 percent between 1996-99 and 2000-02. However, considerable variations remain between women's share in different types of professional jobs . Cultural and social attitudes towards what constitutes "male" or "female" jobs result in occupational segregation I , although the extent of the problem varies from country to country and job to job . Women are mainly concentrated in the "Feminized "professions such as nursing and teaching (horizontal occupational segregation ) , where at the same time they remain in lower job categories than men (vertical occupational segregation ) .

According to JAN TUCKER , in the article "The Glass Ceiling dose it still exits " The causes of the glass ceiling are varied . Some suggest that the glass ceiling is selfimposed by some women. For example , women may choose to work fewer hours than men in order to spend more time with their families . Women also measures success by high salaries and important job titles whereas women place a higher value on their relationships with colleagues and community service . Others suggest that ingrained stereotypes and socialization cause the glass ceiling. In some organization , the good old boy network is still pervasive . When deciding who to promote in these organizations , women are often not even considered .

Some companies recognize that employees have a life outside of the office. These family-friendly organizations offer options such as flex-time, onsite child care, employee assistance programs and telecommuting options for their employees want to work in a family -friendly organization . Some employees who do not have family obligations may resent their company offering services that not all employees want to work in a family-friendly organization . Some employees who do not have family obligations may resent their company offering services that do not have family obligations may resent their company offering services that do not apply to them . One of the first steps in determining what employees want in the work place is to determine how people define career success . Women and men tend to use different types of measures when determining what makes a career successful . Men tend to focus on earning , promotional opportunities and success while women focus on positive interpersonal relationships and feelings (Powell & Graves , 2003) .

According to "Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling Without Breaking a Nail: Women executive

In Fortune Magazine's "Power 50" List " by Sherianne Shuler in today,s organizations . Seemingly supporting this declaration , magazine recently started publishing " with Fiorina at the top of the list each year . While the increasing number of women executive perhaps demonstrates progress , the magazine coverage perpetuates familiar stereotypes of women in organizations . By positing that popular business magazines are part of the broader discourse in which organizations are situated , this paper examines Fortune's "Power 50" lists , arguing that they help to construct the glass ceiling .

CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in 1962 , by 2002 there were 6 .And while 15.7 percent of all corporate officer positions are now held by women , when the number are broken down by race it becomes clear that recent gains have primarily advantaged white women as women of color hold only 1.6 percent of corporate officer positions .

According to VINITA BHATIA , in the article "Breaking the Glass Ceiling", she said that while corporate India Inc. is increasing looking at diversity in their workforce by placing women employees at key decision making position , the channel community has a lot of catching up to do .

SOM MITTAL , President NASSCOM , is of the belief that gender inclusivity is a must for a long term success of the IT industry . "India will play a key role in future transformation,"he claimed . "Women are a key and vital part of work force and the industry will continue to work towards creating a conducive environment and attract more women employees and leaders," he added

NEELAM DHAWAN first heading the country's biggest software , Microsoft and then moving on to be at the helm of affairs at Hewlett Packard . Dhawan is just one of the many women who have become synonymous with the companies they work for . But sadly the same can't be said of the IT channel companies in the country . Barring a few there are hardly any women who are in the key decision making positions in most big channel companies . In an industry that has been largely male dominated , women have been able to make a mark , but not at the same speed as in seen in the rest of corporate India .

The fact is borne by some numbers as well . In India , only 25 percent of the business leadership comprises women . In China , on the other hand , women comprise nearly 60 percent of the business leadership . Women get so accustomed to their existing job role , which prevents them from reaching the top level . Moreover the organization also has a feeling that it is not worth investing in because , they would get married, have a baby and quit .

The challenges might continue to exit, but is no doubt that a greater representation of women at the workplace is vital today . At its third annual IT Women Leadership Summit in Bengaluru in November, 2008 "Tranforming Enterpries and Socities" Nassom representatives stressed on the fact that "workplace diversity in industry gives it a leading edge in the marketplace and is therefore of even greater importance in these time of economic ression and slowdown . Gender inclusivity is no longer corporate social responsibility but a business imperative ."

According to the article , "what Glass Ceiling ? - gender based employment discrimination by Michael Lynch that as the debate over affirmative action heats up a concentred efforts will be made to convince women that they are victims of job discrimination . Currently , a constitutional initiative in California , headed for the November 1996 ballot , threatens to abolish public-sector preference programs and indeed , opponents of the initiative are appealing to women to oppose it . The National Organization for Women (NOW) , for example , has made defeating the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) its number one priority for 1996 and such formerly non-political groups as the YMCA have joined the charge to defeat it .

Davidson & Cooper (1983) found that managerial women experience greater strain and feel more isolated at work that males which in turn affect their performance . There is greater difference in leadership because of negative perception and evaluation of women in leadership (Stelter 2002) .

Sex role orientation and the stereotype of manger role as masculine construct along with lack of career planning among women are predominant theme that explains why so few women progress to leadership position (Chugh & Sehgal 2007 ). Women are not advancement in work place because they did not receive training to perform job moreover manger do not appreciate achievements of their women employee as compare to men (Asplund 1988 ) .


Over the past 25 years , the percentage of women and minorities participating in the work force has increased . However , this increase has been confined to entry still reflect a shortfall of women .

To identify the status of women in the society as well as in the workplace .

To find out the measures to overcome with the problem of "GLASS CEILING".

To explores workplace challenges that women face and recommends strategies to address them research .

To focuses on women in business and review the literature on gender disparities in employment , compensation and promotion .

To determine the extant to which the glass ceiling continues to exit and prevent women from gaining access to organizational resources .


How glass ceiling affect the job performance of mangerial women ?


There are three variables which are under study . Job performance is dependent variable and it is the variable of primary interest and changes or variations in job performance will be explained by two independent variables

Gender Stereotyping

Cooperation among colleagues

Gender stereotyping has negative relation with job performance i.e. if there is less gender stereotyping among the member of organization then greater will be the job performance . Cooperation has positive relation with job performance i.e. if there is more cooperation among there is more cooperation among the employees the greater will be the job performance .

Review of past researches shows if there is gender stereotyping female manager can not get the equal opportunities , male are only favoring the males so ultimately it affect the job performance of female employees that's why there is a negative relation between job performance and gender stereotype .

Past researches also shows that the cooperation play a very important role in increasing the job performance because if there is a cooperation among employees then they can motive each other and it leads towards increase in job performance .


If cooperation among the colleagues at work place is increased then the job performance of managerial women will be increased .

If gender stereotyping is reduced at work place then the job performance of managerial

women will be increased .


In this Cross-sectional co-relational field study data on two independent variables (gender stereotype , cooperation among colleagues ) and dependent variable (job performance ) were collected from both males and females at management level working in private organizations PIFRA (Project to Improve Financial Reporting and Auditing ) World bank , Ittehad airlines , IBM (Pakistan) in Islamabad through personally administered questionnaires .

Data was collected from secondary resources such as published data , magazines , newspapers and article by various Authors . Organizational analysis was done from data collected by IIO and other organizations .

In the research which we have done on Glass ceiling , we have taken both the data i.e.

Primary data

Secondary data


We have design a questionnaire through which we came to know about the perceptions of people in the society that they feel about glass ceiling .This questionnaire was filled by most of the female employees working in the academic organization . Here we had tried to find out what they feel about their role in the organization , do they ever faced the inferiority due to glass ceiling, for this purpose we had format the open ended questionnaire so that we may get to know about their descriptive views regarding glass ceiling and its implications .


The glass ceiling was installed by male in patriarchal societies who regard their lofty positions as sacrosanct and inviolable by women .

It was found that gender discrimination is a central factor to the prevalence of glass ceiling in organizations .

Women faced some challenges and may require different skills to be successful in the work place than their male counterparts . The causes and impact of these differences vary depending upon the size of the organization , level of management and requisite job duties .

The proportion of women in the work place has increased 5% since 1980 whereas the number of women in management positions has increased 19% in the same period . Research indicates that there is still a gap between women and men regarding compensation for producing similar work .

The causes of this phenomenon are attributed to :

Perception of gender roles

Gender Stereotypes (Prejudices )

Hiring practices

Role expectation , Role conflict .

Less emotional stability of women

Sexual harassment at workplace

Uneven work force composition


Diversity management programs should be followed in organizations .

Organizations should operate an Affirmative action plans .

Cross culture training as well as Executive Training Program should be planned .

Right person should be appointed at right position irrespective of stereotype effect .

Skill Based Diversity programs should be provided so that workforce can understand each other and work cordially .

Managerial support should be provided as per need .

Recruitment process should be given a thought .

Indra Nooyi was the architect of the soft drink and snack company's acquisition of quaker oats a few years . Nooyi began her career in india, spent some time with Motorola inc; and most recently served as both president and cfo at pepsico .


Glass ceiling exists in our mind only .

Women are forming new businesses at double the rate of men .

Due to problems like glass ceiling , women today are leaving the corporate sector in vast numbers -twice the rate of men .



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Respondents have different views but all of them feel that women must get all the rights that they deserve .

Ability matters and not being man and a woman

Ireespective of being a man or a woman , if a person is dedicated to work and is committed , then , there is no reason why he/she won't be recognized .

Let women realize their worth by self .

Managerial support should be provided to overcome it .

Removal of gender biasness is the only solution of this bias .

Through education and women empowerment .

Women should come forward , they should take additional responsibilities and prove the world that they are better than man in every respect .

Parents should treat the children equally and also provide then equal education .

The reason behind the gender biasness is the low mindset of people .


In the secondary research we had consider few articles which have describe the problem of the glass ceiling and the problems to overcome with the same . We have taken some articles from websites which are mentioned in references .The articles which we had taken from the above websites are as follows : -

1 Breaking through the Glass Ceiling without breaking through the nail : women executives from the Fortune magazine's "power 50"list

2.What Glass Ceiling ? Gender based employment discrimination .

3. The Guess Ceiling : does it still exit ?

4. Breaking the Glass Ceiling .

5. Shattering the glass ceiling : A strategy for survival .

6. Are women happy under the Glass Ceiling .

With the help of above secondary details hub we have taken the concept of glass ceiling and the solutions to overcome with the problems of glass ceiling . Therefore with the help of both the data primary as well as secondary , we had proceeded with our research .


In our research , I have find that whether nowadays women are working , they are moving forward along men , but then there is gender biasness in our society .

It is more difficult for women than men to be promoted up levels of authority hierarchies within workplaces but also that the obstacles women face relative to men become greater as they move up the hierarchy but is more intense at higher levels .

So to prove them , getting ahead at work is not an easy thing to do no matter who you are . You have to work hard and prove your worth .

Make the decision to promote you an easy one for the powers-to-be .


Women hold just 10.6 percent of board seats and executive positions , down from 10.9 percent in 2008 . Little has changed from 2005 , when the figure was 10.2 percent .

Nearly, a third of the companies studied , 118 out of 400 , have no women directors on their boards and no female executive officers . No company in the top 400 was without men in top management positions .

Fifteen of the 400 companies have a women serving as chief executive officer , up from 13 in 2008 .

The above chart shows the findings of 2006 , that still the ratio of men are higher than the women .

At the time of research we have find out that in past 10 years 84%more women have become self employed compared with an increase of 56 % among men . Even some have started their own business those who were rejected in this wider world due to glass ceiling . Starting their business in their only way of using their talents in the way they went to .

As per the survey of fortune 500 companies , a measly 22% of ceo's are women and seats on board of directors are 14.7% .

Therefore we had found that the status of women in the society as well as in the workplace is improved but not as compared to men , the glass ceiling is still existing in the organization . And it will take a long span of time to crack the glass ceiling .


The purpose of this study was to see the level of cooperation among colleagues and the gender stereotyping in private organizations and then t determine the impact of these two on the performance of female managers in the private organizations . The statistical analysis of the data acquired from the filled questionnaires revealed that both male and female managers at the low and middle level of organization think that exists a friendly atmosphere among male and female colleagues at work place . They help each other in time of need and in performing work related tasks . Though both male and female agree that cooperation does exists but the interesting findings is that male employees perceives that there is cooperation among colleagues more then female employees do .

Another interesting finding is that male employees think that a woman's place is in home and they are not suited for work outside of the home. According to their point of view traditional husband / wife roles are the best and that it is the job of women to manage the home and men to go out to work. Also, they think that women lack the skills and abilities needed at work. This finding is supported by a study conducted by Schein (2007) who found that on international level, the view of women as less likely than men to possess requisite management characteristics is a commonly held belief among male management students in the USA, the UK, Germany, China and Japan. However, female employees do not think that women lack the managerial skills and that they are not suited for work outside the home.

Female employees think that compared to male managers, female managers must continually prove themselves in order to be taken seriously and get promoted . Whereas male managers think that male and female managers are treated seriously and get promoted . Whereas male managers think that male and female managers are treated equally and in the same fashion as those of male managers . These results are supported by (Jeavons & Sevastos , 2002 who found that the existence of a strong glass ceiling effects prevents women to progress in the organizations . The researchers also showed that women were employed by the organization at a level that was lower than their qualifications or lower than men doing the same job .


As per the research we have done , we had come out with many solutions to break the glass ceiling is the organization .

We are living in the modern world but then also we many found that many of the organizations are following the concept of glass ceiling . Many women those who are good in their capabilities and skills are sealed in the glass , that they will not be allowed to progress further .

It has become a prejudice against the women that they are not equivalent to the men . Men are categorized in the section of good capabilities and skills which are better then the women working in the organization . The reason behind this problem can be a stereo type which was created traditionally , in the mind of the people , that the problem can be stereo type which was created traditionally in the mind of the people , that the particular section of women cannot be develop . And the result is that they are lacking behind in comparison with male society .

Traditionally it is being said that women are born for the welfare of the family , to look after the children and their in laws , But the current situation is being changed . They are becoming the competitors of men .

As per our research we had found that the area for women is also developing but not as compared to the men , this we have already discussed in the findings .

In this research we had recommend that there is a long way to go for the development of the women society . For the improvement of the sector of women various researches are working but as per our research we sort that there is also a need to look upon the following points that we are recommending :

Women have a right to come forward and take additional responsibility and prove themselves to be strong in every context along with the men .

There is need to be more dedicated towards their and maintain the balance between there professional life and personal life .

Management should support to the section of women in there development at the work place .

Government should also take few measures to overcome with this problem .

Government should start some awareness programs about the problem of glass ceiling .

Gender biasness should be eradicate and everyone should be aware about the consequences of the particular problem .

More education programs must be their along with the women empowerment .

By providing more opportunity to the female section (govt . had already taken the action regarding this , they have given some quota in different sectors like private and public as well )


Management must learn to recognize and appreciate gender difference as positive qualities which can serve as assets for the organization .

Activities should be carried within organizations that make women more adaptable and responding to emotional situations .

Examine organizational design , staffing and performance reward systems .

Organizational composition or demography should be evenly distributed .

Every employee should be taught that are important to the organizations .

Develop strong relationships with others in the company , focusing on those individuals with high authority . Ask these people for feedback on their performance and then make it a point to act on their recommendations .