Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Wendy M. Paulson
The glass ceiling is a conceptual term that describes a lack of women in upper-level positions in various organizations. The Federal Glass Ceiling Commission (1991-1996) stated that the glass ceiling refers to artificial barriers to the advancement of women and minorities. The term glass ceiling is used because women can see the jobs that are above those they have, but cannot break through the “glass” to gain those positions. This unbreakable barrier keeps women and minorities from moving up the job ladder regardless of education, experience, or ability. The effects of a metaphorical glass ceiling are to relegate women to the lower rungs of the job ladder, compared with white heterosexual men. This entry discusses the effects of the glass ceiling. The term glass ceiling has often been credited to Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Scelhardt in the March 24, 1986, issue of the Wall Street Journal. But research demonstrates Adweek. ...