Cracking the glass ceiling has always been a source of struggle for women all around the globe. That is exactly why women are still underrepresented in most top companies. According to Joseph Cangemi, women have been the victim of stereotyping and prejudice. He describes the glass ceiling as “an invisible barrier with which women come in contact when working up the corporate ladder.” While this barrier is completely transparent, it has played a significant role in preventing women from climbing up the corporate ladder.
Women are not less capable or unable to perform in senior positions than men are. This is nothing but perception because women have always been stereotyped as being submissive and nurturing as opposed to men who are considered to be dominant and aggressive. Men are also perceived to be autocratic and ambitious while women are deemed to be accommodating and participatory. The most important characteristic associated with women and used quite often to prevent them from success is the belief that women are emotional and subjective and often lack the ability to be objective and impartial. However, these are nothing but perceptions without any concrete evidence to back them up. This so-called image of a woman as a helpless, dependant and victimized being is nothing but stereotyping.
While evidence does not support the premise of “women being the weaker sex’, there is however significant evidence that proves otherwise. Existing literature proves that men take stress more than women and are in fact more vulnerable than women. In addition, women are known to live longer and have a strong immune system when it comes to getting ill. They are also quite vocal about their beliefs and feelings. There is absolutely no evidence to prove that women are unable to handle corporate pressure since women are known to be flexible, open-minded and personable. Their emotional qualities such as being extra sensitive and considerate can also help them fare better in a corporate setting since they can be good leaders and can relate better with their co-workers and subordinates. Most of all, it is a well-known fact that women are hard-working, efficient and have greater communication skills.
According to Mauricio Velasquez, gender is nothing but a convenient basis for segregating occupations and wages. Women face barriers due to two primary reasons. These include stereotyping and preconceptions and employer aversion toward hiring females. That is why women have been treated unfairly in the job market and have to settle for low paid jobs, intermittent employment, and unsatisfactory working conditions.
Another factor that has played a role in women’s being denied corporate success is the belief that they have higher turnover rates. It is believed that women have a greater tendency to leave their jobs due to marriage, child-bearing and other responsibilities. No wonder women have always been confined to roles of secretaries and assistants because it is easier to replace a secretary than a managing director.
It is thus evident that women are not the weaker sex. It is in fact, employers, co-workers and customers who continue to consider them to be unworthy and incapable of corporate performance and success.