Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952651 | Print ISBN: 9781412924702 | Online ISBN: 9781412952651| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tina T. Chen
The glass ceiling has been defined by the U.S. Department of Labor as artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions. The concept of a glass ceiling was originally used to describe women's blocked opportunities within organizations and has also been applied to the experiences of ethnic minorities. It is commonly referred to as the barrier that cannot be seen or touched but has the effect of stopping women and minority members from reaching the top echelons of organizations. For example, there are increasing numbers of women and ethnic minority members in management in general. However, they are not proportionally represented in the top management positions. Research on the glass ceiling spans many disciplines, including sociology, psychology, management, gender studies, and ethnic studies, just to name a few. The bulk of the early research focused on documenting ...