Report On Women In Management Management Essay

Over the past several decades women have excelled in the workplace with regards to both the positions they hold and salary levels. For many however, there is still the idea of a ‘glass ceiling’ (Frenkiel, 1984). The notion of the glass ceiling is that there a discriminatory barrier to the advancement of women into the upper echelons of business, the professions, and government (Chapman, 1992). Despite the supposed advancement of women, it is widely argues that women are required to overcome greater barriers than men in advancing to the higher positions. In a study of 448 upper end employees it was found that women were less likely to be promoted that males (Lyness & Heilman, 2006). This would serve to highlight the problem of a lack of equal opportunity for women. The possible actions that may be taken to allow women to have equal opportunities shall be explored during the course of this piece.

Companies should be placing a great emphasis on training programs. Many training schemes are aimed solely at male employees causing females to be deterred from entering the initial application stage. The organizational structures and practices of many companies cause females to decide that they are not for them due to the practices they would have to go through (Liff & Ward, 2001). If companies took steps to implement schemes balancing skills for both males and females, a greater number of females would be likely to apply. This could have the effect of allowing greater females to enter professions and obtain higher positions without facing the often intimidating male culture.

Companies should be aiming to recruit equal numbers of men and women for positions. ‘Recruiting officers fail to get women to join the company in meaningful numbers’ (Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000). This highlights that there appears to be an inequality in the numbers of women within companies in comparison to males. This in turn is making it more difficult for women to reach the higher end of positions due to the proportion of females in relation men. Companies should be focusing on training schemes and recruitment options whereby the intake of employees is of an equal proportion of both males and females. Greater investment in training schemes to allow equal employment rates of both genders would be a step in addressing the apparent disparity.

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There is a greater need on companies to challenge the traditional views held by many in society with regards to the subordinate role of women in society and the workplace. Marketing and advertising on the progression of women may encourage many women to strive for and reach higher positions within the workplace. Advertising may also encourage many employers amongst others to dropt the stereotypical views of women thus allowing women greater opportunities to apply for higher positioned roles. There are four million female entrepreneurs in the USA (Bass & Avolio, 1994). Further, there are many women around the world who have and do reach positions. Examples include presidential candidate and former first lady Hilary Clinton as well as former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. An increase in marketing to females that they are able to reach the peak positions may serve to encourage them further to challenge the view that equal opportunities should exist within each company.

There is no doubt that the culture of many companies requires reviewing and updating to include the image of successful and progressive females. Shedding the so called macho image of many companies (Monga, 2005) to an image of equality would serve to encourage females to enter business industries. A major challenge is for companies highlight the notion of the glass ceiling that may be restricting females from progressing in the workplace. The presence of a glass ceiling is a prominent issue in American organizational culture (Bullard & Wright, 1993) therefore further attention to the issue may indeed prove beneficial for allowing equal opportunities for women.

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One of the major indicators that serves to demonstrate the inequality between males and females is the wage gap. The salary expectations for females have traditionally been lower than for males. This has perhaps in the past had the effect of preventing women from attempting to take up employment in companies that would allow them to reach the higher capacity and status positions. ‘Recent trends in the gender gap appear to contradict the hypothesis that economic progress brings with it a narrowing in differences between the sexes’ (Goldin, 1994). This highlights that although there may have been a significant level of progress in closing the gender gap, it appears that that are still differences with regard to pay levels between males and females. An step a company may take therefore would be to offer women the same salary level as that offered to males employees. This would allow greater numbers of women to compete for the such positions resulting in more women obtaining higher paid roles.

‘There is no doubt that significant progress has been achieved in furthering the cause of gender inequality in the labour market over recent decades’ (Wirth, 2002). Further steps need to be taken in order to achieve equal opportunities however. The steps explored above may play a crucial role in the further advancement of women into higher positions not only in the workplace, but also in wider society such as politics and local government. However, it is important to remember that there is no single solution to allowing women to reach beyond the idea of the glass ceiling. It may take a combination of steps to allow companies to appreciate that women can compete with men and reach higher positions. It is also necessary to remember that the process of women possessing equal opportunities may not be a rapid one. It could well take several decades before some of the above recommendations are implemented. It appears that the above points would be a starting point for achieving equal opportunities for females.

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  • Davidson, Marilyn. and Cary L. Cooper. Shattering the Glass Ceiling: The Women Manager. London: Paul Chapman, 1992.
  • Lyness, Karen & Heilman, Madeline, When fit is fundamental: Performance evaluations and promotions of upper-level female and male managers, Journal of Apllied Psychology 91 (4): 777-785, 2006
  • Wirth, Linda. Breaking Through The Glass Ceiling: Women in Management. International Labour Office Conference, Luxembourg, 2002.
  • Goldin, Claudia, Equal Employment Opportunity: Labour Marker Discrimination and Public Policy.
  • Bass, Bernard & Avolio, Bruce, Shatter the Glass Ceiling: Women May Make Better Managers, Human Resource Management, 1994.
  • Liff, Sonia & Ward, Kate, Distorted Views Through the Glass Ceiling: The Construction of Women’s Understandings of Promotion and Senior Management Positions, Gender, Work and Organisation Vol. 8 No 1, January 2001
  • Monga, Deepshikha, Timex to shed macho image, 2005
  • Bullard, Angela & Wright, Deil, Circumventing the Glass Ceiling: Women Executives in American State Goverments, Public Administration Review, May/June 1993, Vol 53, No.3
  • Meyerson, Debra & Fletcher, Joyce, A Modest Manifesto for Shattering the Glass Ceiling, Harvard Business Review, January-February 2000
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