Optionals IAS Mains Psychology: Questions 1 of 269


Describe in Detail


Explain glass ceiling effect. Do you think women despite of their performance records are unable to take equal edge with men? Give examples in support of your answer.


Glass Ceiling Effect

  • There is no doubt that significant progress has been achieved in furthering the cause of gender equality in the labour market over recent decades. Women have been moving steadily into occupations, professions and managerial jobs previously reserved for men. Their access to education and training continues to improve, providing many with the necessary qualifications to aspire to jobs in senior management. Governments, businesses, trade unions and women՚s organizations have devoted much thought and energy to overcoming the attitudinal and institutional discrimination that bars women from certain jobs and hinders their career development, while the commitment to fight gender discrimination is renewed periodically at international conferences.
  • Yet, many of the results fall short of expectations. Women are still concentrated in the most precarious forms of work throughout the world and breaking through the “glass ceiling” still appears elusive for all but a select few. For women who also experience race discrimination, the barrier to top jobs seems to be made of unbreakable Plexiglas.
  • ‘Glass ceiling’ effect means that the invisible artificial barriers that block women from senior executive jobs. This effect is less prevalent in Eastern countries than western countries. As statistics indicate, despite the challenges, annual reports of many US companies show that Indian women are landing big jobs. Cisco chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior, finance high-flyer Sheila Hooda, high-tech innovator Anita Goel, and former World Bank and McKinsey & Co consultant Rohini Dey are emblematic of the plodding progress of women. Less than 10 % of senior posts on Wall Street are filled by women, but former Lehman Brothers managing director Romita Shetty and IIM-Ahmedabad-educated Sheila Hooda have been part of that statistic.
  • Stereotypes of women՚s roles and abilities are considered leading barriers, but Naina Lal Kidwai, chief of HSBC India, said that women had to shed “self-imposed” glass ceilings.
  • This further reminds that, ″ I may sound very irreverent here, ″ said Kidwai, the first Indian woman to graduate from Harvard Business School, ″ but the biggest glass ceiling we have is ourselves. Self-imposed glass ceilings — feelings which tell us we can՚t go beyond a certain level. Issues like the ones Indra referred to, which are personal: can I juggle home and career? Can I be wife, mother and work? These are self-imposed glass ceilings.
  • Therefore to breakthrough such self-imposed glass ceilings become the vital assets for women to climb the success of the career ladder.