Many a time, the most difficult of barriers that suppresses us, are the ones that we create ourselves. One of the most perpetuated lies propagated by contemporary feminist groups in the world today is the existence of a phenomenon called the “Glass Ceiling” (the GC). The essence of this theory is that of an apparent existence of an imaginary suppressing factor at a high hierarchical level prohibiting the upward rise of women along the scalar chain. Supporters of this theory, attribute its existence to the rising and chronic structural discrimination against women as a gender in favour of men. More often than not, this theory is used as an excuse used by women’s own failings in today’s corporate sector. Ghinny Rometti (CEO, IBM) and Ursula Burns (CEO and Chairman, Xerox) are two of the many women who have been shattering this ‘glass’ in the face of the contemporary world today. This phrase was first professed in March of 1984 by Gay Bryant. In an ‘Adweek’ article by Nora Frenkel, Bryant had expressed, “Women have reached a certain point—I call it the glass ceiling. They’re in the top of middle management and they’re stopping and getting stuck. There isn’t enough room for all those women at the top. Some are going into business for themselves. Others are going out and raising families.”
Normally, feminists point to the apparent inequality in the pay between women and men for getting the same job done. However the very fundamental concept that is ignored is that women more often than not, take up a less demanding career path in order to leave the soil on grounds of maternity leave and/or other pivotal family decisions. Correcting for that factor, there’s virtual equality in payment of salaries and bonuses. It is also a statistically established fact that the courses women usually major in college and humanities, liberal studies and social sciences, whereas men take up economics and engineering courses more often than women. It is a no- brainer that knowledge in economics and engineering is what is needed to propel and steer a top organisation.
I feel that the concept of glass ceiling today is a figment of our imagination. How many of us can dream to scale heights? People, who believe they can, will and do reach unimaginable heights, only to be looked at by self- professed incompetent and now jealous individuals. Attitude is what separates women from men, in any form of organisation. When a man fails to achieve a promotion or is criticised during his performance review, it plays an incentive for him to strive. Women only respond to a similar scenario by whining about how the world is so unfair to them. The clinching factor that clearly abolishes the existence of such an invisible yet existing barrier is the dominance of women in the field of HR. There are countless women reviewing pay levels and ensuring equity. If there really was such a barrier, does it mean that women themselves do not want their gender to progress?