Glass ceiling and its impact on the economy

Invisible and still impossible to overcome – glass ceiling is, according to Business Dictionary: “real barrier through which the next stage or level of advancement can be seen, but cannot be reached (…)”. This common phenomenon is strongly connected not only with racial, political or religious identity, but also with appearance, age and sex. Even though we, as a human race, become more and more aware of our diversity, the glass ceiling is quickly spreading across the whole world. The question is, how does it change the economy?

The crucial fact is, that the glass ceiling occur mostly in reference to women and their career paths. It means that it is way harder for them to climb the ladder in their workplace, than for men occupying the same position and often having similar education. Moreover this situation is escalating if the woman is for instance black, yellow-skinned or muslim.

On one hand in the middle level management woman are being promoted more often than they used to be in the past, but on the other hand it is nearly impossible in many companies to achieve CEO position as a female. Women are not getting the credit they deserve and even though they are told that sex is not the reason, the research shows that only 5%, so 25 CEO positions in S&P 500 companies, are occupied by women.

The main cause of the glass ceiling phenomenon is associated with unequal treatment and different character traits represented by women and men. The majority of women prefer to avoid risk, so they are choosing less stressful jobs, that are unfortunately not so well-paid. In addition women are more afraid to lose their jobs, so they do not negotiate higher salaries and promotions even when they know they deserve it.

There are few reasons why the glass ceiling is unfavorable when it comes to the economy and its efficiency. First of all, it is obvious, that women in many fields are as talented as men, but because they are not allowed to hold high offices, companies cannot fully benefit from their experience or ideas. Secondly, woman tend to be less aggressive and more willing to cooperate, therefore they can create good relationships with other employees, which can eventually conduce to higher effectiveness.

Furthermore, when it comes to negotiations many women have natural ability to stand up for themselves and in the same time being able to reach a compromise, which generally leads to better results. Due to some brain functioning differences between genders, comparing to men women have the ability to see a bigger picture and to examine wider aspects of a certain problem. This perspective can be sometimes invaluable in finding the best way out of the situation.

In order to create good working environment and increase the effectiveness, companies should appreciate female employees and encourage them not to be afraid to take risks and develop their skills. Giving equal opportunities to both genders can have incredible impact on the whole economy and its efficiency.