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In today's era of the fast industrialization the position of Women is notable issue in every corporate organization. Several multiple organizational and cultural barriers are creating an obstacle or barrier for women to have the equality in the corporates and the work place.
This case study focuses on the two main reasons which are proved to be a barrier for the corporate women to rise up. The main reason for the case study is to map out the bigger reason proving to be the barrier for the women in corporate culture, is it Culture or the Glass Ceiling.
Several researches and studies are included from worldwide giving justification for both the issues. The conclusion gives the clear view about the bigger threat to the corporate women, it also includes the recommendation which can be followed in order abolish the problem. The implementation includes the way of execution of the recommendation made on the Issues.
The report contains all the factors responsible for the barrier creation in the path of the women to rise up or to go on top of any corporate organization.
Table of Contents
Content Page No.
1. Executive Summary 3
2. Introduction 5
3. Background 5
4. Culture 6
5. Glass Ceiling 8
6. Culture or Glass Ceiling bigger barriers for the corporate women 10
7. Conclusion 12
8. Recommendation 12
9. Implementation 13
10. References 14
Corporate women do not rise to top due to Culture not Glass Ceiling
This report creates awareness by focusing on the topic that the corporate woman faces the problem of growth in the organizational infrastructure due to the adverse effect of Culture and the Glass Ceilings. The introduction further continues with the problem discussion which will lead to the conclusion that comes after research done on the topic. Finally this will lead to the recommendation and the implementation to the problems.
Today, the increasing globalization and industrialization has become of the great importance. The organizations are looking ahead to expand their business as the world is getting more interconnected. Managing business operations across the world has become a challenge of every organization today. So, as per several market specialist and their researches, in every economy globally the companies are required to leave back the traditional thinking of their market and start looking the business from an international global perspective.
As per my belief the development of communication, the abolishment of any discrimination, improvement in the old cultural and social beliefs will provide more opportunities for the companies to have a better position in the market and as well as a better organizational atmosphere which will lead to the effectiveness of the organization.
The organizations have to think about how they can nurture their ambition. The only way is to chairman and the chief executives responsible. Good governance is the way to success of an enterprise and it can be only happened when there is no gender specification. Rather than waiting for any external factors and legislation now it is the time for the employers to set voluntary targets for female representatives at both board and the senior management level. The leaders of the business should take the responsibility of building an effective pipeline and making a commercial priority to identify, develop and promote the potential leaders of both the success which will bring the equilibrium in the working process and will exceed the success rate of the company and the organizations.
Different efforts have been made to ensure that female representation is achieved at all level of governance but still it is found to be that there is gender inequity in the leadership positions for women.
The report focuses the reasons which are responsible for the barriers caused for the women in the corporate. It can be cultural and can also be glass ceiling. Further, we discuss then recommendation for the removal of the factors responsible with effective implementation suggestions.
Culture can be said as the integrated sum total of learned behaviors which are shared by the members of a society. Culture has been defined in many different ways which reflects the variety of cultural phenomena that can be observed in any society. Cultural factors have an important impact on the flow of business. Each society has its own elements of culture which depends upon language, religion, values and attitudes, manners and customs, education and the social systems of the society.
However culture is not static but it is constantly moving part of the society reforming and adapting from time to time. People change their behavior when they understand the hazardous and harmful practices and when they realizes that it is possible to give up harmful practices without giving up the original meaning to culture. But, still the understanding of the people in different society for the culture is different. Still, there is the existence of the cultural barrier for the women. Several researches incorporate about the female gender in the society and the ways women are affected by the issues arising from the different beliefs of the society. The gender issues include the way people identify their gender and how they have been affected by the societal structure related to gender and the role of the gender in individual's life.
Women continued to have aspiring leadership positions in almost all field, public and private sectors but historically leadership had been carried with a perception of masculinity that makes a belief to the society that men are the better leaders than women in the society and the same belief is still common today.
As per different studies made on the positions of women in the society an article published by UNESCO in the mid-1950s, it has assumed that women's advancement has been influenced by traditional attitude towards gender equality. Different theories on socialization have emphasized the division of sex roles within a society which includes the traditional attitude towards women in public and private spheres. The socialization theory suggests that the all these traditional attitudes are acquired early in life, which includes the existence of traditional sex role in the family, in the local community and in schools and the workplace.
The social inequality made the public more concerned about the negative aspect of the sex division which lead to design the gender quotas and designed to achieve equality for women in public life. The traditional attitude towards gender inequality proved to be an important determinant in the rise of the women by removing the barriers to the culture by taking entry's into the elected offices, yet there are many reasons which made women's to face barriers to be part of elected offices.
As per different researches the women of different religion includes Islamic, Buddhists, Judaic, Confucian and Hindu, all of had lower proportions of women taking active participation to be a part of the business organization and have low rate to work in corporate culture, this is all due to the impact of the traditional culture followed in their respective societies which are proving to be a barrier for them to rise up and grow up in an organization and business environment in comparison to the males of their society.
Culture is proving as a barrier for the women to grow as it is an indistinctive part of society of people having orthodox, old and traditional beliefs.
4. Glass Ceiling
The term Glass Ceiling was first given its name by Wall Street journal report on corporate women. The concept of the glass ceiling refers to the barriers faced by women who attempt or aspire to attain a senior position in the corporations, government, education, and nonprofit organizations. The reason behind the discussion of this topic is regarding the women in business focusing on the advancement to the senior positions.
"Glass Ceiling" it is an unseen yet unreachable barrier that keeps women away from rising to the upper rings in the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications and achievements.
Most of women aspiring to senior management positions believe glass ceiling to career progression still exists. According to a report by a leading U K management organization and the survey of 3000 members of leadership and management (ILM) it found that 73% of female manager believe barriers to advancement still exist, compared to 38% of men.
Glass Ceiling includes several barriers which stops corporate women to rise up or to grow up which includes-
4.1 Internal business barriers:
(a) Lack of mentoring and management training
(b) Lack of opportunities for career development, tailored training, and rotational job assignments that are on the revenue- producing side of the business.
(c) Little or no access to informal networks of communication.
(d) Counterproductive behavior and harassment by colleagues.
4.2 Other barriers:
(a) Sexual, ethnic, racial, religious discriminations or harassment in the workplace.
(b) Require long hours for advancement, sometimes called "Hour Glass Ceiling".
The Glass ceiling is a strong explanation for analyzing inequalities between men and women in the workplace. The expression has been used widely in the popular media as well as in official government reports and academic publications like, Canberra Bulletin of Public Administration 1994, Catalyst 1990, State of Wisconsin Task force on the Glass Ceilings initiative 1993, etc.
As per the Comparative study of Glass Ceiling in United States, Sweden, Australia, the Glass Ceiling hypothesis, the image suggests that although it may be now be the case that women are able to get through the front door of managerial hierarchies, at some point they hit an invisible barrier that blocks any further upward movement. As one of the writers said that the Glass Ceiling is "a transparent barrier that kept the women from rising above a certain level in the corporations, it applies to women as a group who are kept from advancing higher because they are women".
As we talk literally, the term Glass Ceiling implies the existence of an impermeable and transparent barrier that blocks the vertical mobility of women, below this barrier women are able to get promoted but beyond this barrier they are not.
The impact of Glass Ceiling seems to be confirmed by casual observation. A data from a comparative project in class analysis (1997) indicate that around 25 to 30 percent of lower-level supervisors are women. In contrast, at most a small percent of top executives and CEOs in large corporations are women. According to Firemen's analysis, less than 0.5 percent of the 4,012 highest paid managers in top companies in United States are women. This shows that the ratios of women succeeding in the corporate are less in comparison to the men.
There are several others studies and researches done and some are still going on to discuss the glass ceilings and its effects on the growth and development of the women in the working organization.
5. Culture or Glass Ceiling being bigger barriers for the corporate women:
Both Culture and Glass Ceiling are threats to the growth for women. Culture is one of the oldest problems for the growth and development of women in society and the working atmosphere. The cultural inequality is being practiced in the society since a long time ago. There are several reasons and the factors which affect the growth of the women, uneducated system of the society is creating the inequality in the views for men and women's growth. The historical tradition in the society which is having the conception of masculinity means the family, or society or the institution should be headed by men and the men should be followed by women is also a barrier for women to grow in the society. These orthodox practices are not letting the women to have a global exposure to the corporate resulting in diminishing in the growth of the women in both society and the organizations.
But, culture is not a static process it's a constant flux which can be changed and modified as per the need of the time and as per the modernization of the society. The people should understand the exact meaning of the culture which gives them their identity rather than having a different meaning of culture which can lead them to start with harmful practices resulting in creation of barriers for their own coming generation to grow and have better future possibilities
As we talk about the term Glass Ceiling we find it to be more complicated problem for the women to grow in the corporate. There are several evidences of glass ceilings describing the discrimination between the males and females in the corporate culture. A study made in year 2002 describes that the total compensation of the male CEOs in a nonprofit organization was $147,085, which is approximately 50% higher than the total of female CEOs which was $98,108.
The opportunity for the promotion and the development favors men generally as a reason of developmental prospects like mentoring and networking. In the case of women they might not have the complete access to the informal networks, men use to develop work relationships in the company, and due to these activities the women are excluded as they may have the perception that these activities are male activities (e.g. playing golf), this results in contributing to gender barriers in the working criteria or the workplace.
There are different unending barriers faced by the women for gaining the global business experience which includes:
5.1 Gender based barriers:
(a) Corporate policies and practices
(b)Training and career development in the organization.
(c)Cultural and behavioral explanations.
(d) The way and the type of communication.
(e) Corporate culture powers.
5.2 Barriers to enter the process:
(a) Selection process is the biggest hurdle to enter in the global business process.
(b)Women are not perceived as mobile as men due to their workings and personal responsibilities.
(c)Lack the mentors and the networks on international projects and assignments.
The women also face additional challenges in regard to the impact of the glass ceiling. They not only have to face the barrier of gender but also they have to overcome the racial and ethnic obstacles to move up the corporate ladder. The problems include the negative race based stereotypes, the lack of institutional support and they have to go through frequent questioning about their authority and credibility.
As the glass ceiling effect the women also have to face the pay inequalities, as a result of a survey in 1998 in US, it explained that women represented 45% of the labor force with men's ratio of 55%. Yet in spite of the women's large sharing in the labor force the inequality of the pay is suffered by women.
Another research made by the Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR), the research explains that the differences of the pay include the working experience, education and the lack of opportunities. Historically also women's salary and wages are lagging behind the men's salary, the gap between men's and women's salary continues to increase with the increase of their ages.
The Glass Ceiling is not a phenomena of a particular country that it is being practiced and found an the corporate atmosphere of a specific place of region, but the barriers of the glass ceilings are evidenced worldwide which is often compounded by the cultural values and the traditional gender roles.
After going through several researches and studies on the topic that which is the bigger problem for the women in the corporate, Culture or the Glass Ceiling, we come to the conclusion that among both the issues Glass ceiling is the bigger problem for the corporate women to rise up in the organization. Going through several studies and researches made by different research institution we can give several justifications favoring glass ceiling to be the bigger problem for the corporate women's, although culture is also one of the barrier in the growth of the women but as it is constant flux it is expected to be improved with the span of time providing women from every culture with an equal chance to be in on the top line of the management, but as per the scenario from last 2 decades we didn't find any vast positive progress in the glass ceiling issues. Women represent such a source of talent and skills which are still not used at the workplace, the way to the success of the corporate would be smoother if the barriers to the glass ceiling will be removed.
What can be done for breaking the glass ceiling in the corporate infrastructure:
The fair policies and practices should be framed and practices which include pay differences, process of hiring and the increment and promotions to senior and top positions.
The organizational culture should be examined, working on the traditions and the rules or norms that might work against women.
Identifying such practices in the organization that may support the advancement of the women.
Find and improve the weaknesses of the policies and programs.
Supporting and developing the network of women inside and outside the organization.
Implementation of women's development programs.
Evaluation of the differences of the women's salary with men's salary at parallel level within the working organization.
The implementation of the above recommendation should be done in order to break the glass ceiling in the corporate organization.
(a)The women should be given an equal opportunity to rise to the top position of an organization as per their experience and capabilities.
(b) The norms of the international laws for nondiscrimination in the employment should be applied to every organization for the equality of the employees in the workplace despite of their gender.
(c) The organizations for economic cooperation and development should take active measures to establish the cooperation within the working atmosphere, the discrimination of the gender should be abolished within the workplace.
(d) The equal remuneration systems by the International Labor Organization should be applied to the organization in order to provide fair remuneration without any gender discrimination.