Glass Ceiling Effect – Are we really developing? Are we giving our women equal opportunities to grow?

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There was a time when development was only measured in figures of economic growth but as the time passed, the definition became more wholesome which included various other factors like standard of living, equal and equitable distribution of wealth, equality for all, and more importantly, with the advent of second wave of feminism, it shed light on the status of women in different social structures and institutions.

If we talk about gender roles, femininity has somehow always been synonymous with weakness. Traditional gender constructs associate femininity more with emotion than logic, with lesser physical strength, and with poor judgment as a part of their naive nature because of which, women have always been considered to be the “inferior gender” in comparison to men in the general social order.
In the work sphere, this kind of gender inequality resulted in a gender gap which further gave birth to a phenomenon called “Glass Ceiling Effect” which from the very day of its existence, has only resulted in the of worsening the condition of women in the socio-economic sphere.

WHAT IS THE GLASS CEILING EFFECT?
What can be majorly seen as an outcome of stratification on the basis of gender and minority status of a social group, the Glass Ceiling Effect is an unseen, and in most cases, an unrecognized yet unapproachable obstruction in the growth of the fairer sex and minority groups who wish to climb higher on the corporate ladder. Qualification, capability, and achievements are all overshadowed in the name of gender and ethnicity in this case. Its outcome is generally the sheer inability of the above mentioned groups to rise at the same pace as their peers who belong to a different and a higher social stratum.

HOW AND WHY DOES IT DIRELY AFFECT FEMALES?
Gender inequality is as old as time itself and its effect in the socio-economic sphere leads to the absolute hindrance in the growth of women in the corporate sphere irrespective of how skilled or qualified they are as compared to their male counterparts.

• Women find themselves unable to move forward beyond a certain invisible bar of development in their respective jobs which leads to stagnation and ultimately to dissatisfaction, stress and frustration.

• According to a report published by The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission in 2003, only seven to nine percent of women were a part of the upper management at Fortune 100 companies.

• Traditional gender roles see women primarily as “child bearers” and not as a part of the working class. While the West has largely changed this demeaning perception of confining women to the four walls of a house and declaring them less efficient to work because of their maternal duties, the underdeveloped and the developing countries are still far from changing it.

HOW TO FIGHT AGAINST IT? HOW TO BREAK THE GLASS CEILING?
There are no immediate measures that can help you deal with this problem or eradicate it completely in a short period but there are a few things you can do to fight it the best way possible.

• Accept the fact that he glass ceiling exists in the first place. A number of women refuse to acknowledge is existence. Mind you, such denial never helped anyone. It is only when you’ve identified the problem that you can move forward to solving it.

• Set high career goals for yourself and make them visible and known to others. They’re pointless if they’re only kept in your head. Speaking of higher goals out loud shows that you’re confident and determined to achieve more than what meets the eye.

• Improvise. Adapt. Overcome. These are the basic rules of tackling any problem that comes your way and coming out of it successfully. Evolve. Learn new skills. Keep yourself updated with the latest trends. This will give you an edge over the others you’re competing with.

There’s no better remedy to this problem than to instill a sense of equality in every mind possible. As farfetched and utopian as it sounds, it isn’t entirely impossible. Start from your home. Start with yourself. Then move to the people around you.

If you’re a working woman, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ve experienced being pushed against the glass ceiling at least once. Now, there are if you are to deal with it, it can be done in two basic ways – accept the situation or fight against it with all your might. The choice is yours and we hope you pick the right one for yourself.

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