Free

Glass Ceiling - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Attorney Meghan Evans, despite her parental roles and responsibilities, managed to attain an outstanding record at Wilson, Barnes, Sauer, and Kahn, a law firm with more than 200 attorneys. She has the knowledge, skills, clientele record and personality that should have earned…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.7% of users find it useful
Glass Ceiling
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Glass Ceiling"

The Case of Atty. Evans: Men and Women at the Workplace The April 27, Attorney Meghan Evans, despite her parental roles and responsibilities, managed to attain an outstanding record at Wilson, Barnes, Sauer, and Kahn, a law firm with more than 200 attorneys. She has the knowledge, skills, clientele record and personality that should have earned her a full partnership status at her company, but the Associates Committee rejected her promotion on several grounds that did not fit her actual clientele satisfaction record and legal analysis skills. The Associates Committee is liable for gender discrimination, which reflects the overwhelming masculine organizational culture that resists the rise of women to topmost management levels. Having men and women as full partners will improve organizational performance by diversifying communication and decision-making styles that can lead to enhanced management processes and organizational outcomes.
Male and female law firm partners have distinct communication styles that can improve how decisions are made in the company, which can boost collaboration and networking that, in turn, will consequently boost morale and firm performance. The American society continues to generally follow a gendered approach to parenting and educating children. Traditional institutions teach gender differences in values and expectations, where women are generally brought up to be empathetic and passive in communication and collaborative and seeking harmony when making decisions, while men are usually trained to be direct, aggressive, and competitive in communication and logical and rules-based in making decisions (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.244). Evans actually seems to balance masculine and feminine communication and styles because the Associates Committee either sees her as too passive or too aggressive. Either way, she brings in her own way of thinking, speaking, and interacting that can enrich how the firm manages the business and attracts clientele. If she is promoted, this will have a positive morale-boosting effect on female attorneys and encourage many of them to also aspire for partnership status. As they do so, these female lawyers will work harder and be more productive, thereby improving total firm performance.
Aside from bringing in new communication style, having women as full partners can enhance decision-making in the company. Bear and Woolley (2011) mentioned the 2010 study of Woolley et al., where the latter found out that having women in groups increased collective intelligence because women boost social sensitivity, turn-taking, and empathy in group communication processes, which increase access to the various knowledge and skills of team members (p.148). Evans can help men become more open to family issues that afflict their organizational culture. She can make them become more considerate of and responsive to work-family balance, which can one day hopefully change the toxic work environment of the firm. Furthermore, men and women have different gender strengths that can also contribute to company performance. Some of the women’s strengths are in their high emotional and social intelligence, while men’s strengths are in their ability to focus on results and use logic to make profit-making solutions (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.244). Evans can encourage the development of better emotional and social intelligence among male lawyers, which may result to gender-fair policies where men and women can balance work and family duties. If such policies are implemented, they can reduce employee dissatisfaction and turnout. Hence, gender diversity enhances cultural processes and organizational performance.
In analyzing men and women in groups, it will be useful to analyze and describe their behaviors using human capital and gender stratification theories because the latter will help understand how gender impacts differences in individual choices and social sources of discrimination Human capital theorists examine individual choices and investments in human capital, such as investing in work-related capital versus family capital, where women tend to focus more on family than employment capital due to traditional gender norms and responsibilities (Young, 2010, p.76). Human capital theory can describe how people make decisions because of their choices regarding family and/or work capital investments. Many female lawyers are not able to attain full partnership status because they are investing more on their families, while male lawyers have an advantage over female counterparts when they can attend more professional and non-professional social activities because they prioritize work over family inputs. Another useful theory for analysis is gender stratification theory that asserts that women undergo personal discrimination at work because of how women and men are segregated into different gender-stereotyped occupations (Young, 2010, p.76). In this theory, social structures tend to create impediments to both equal and socially healthy workplace conditions, policies, and practices for men and women alike. The Associate Committee, for instance, wants to promote Evans in domestic issues, where female lawyers usually are. In essence, they are maintaining the sexist status quo through preserving gender-segregated career paths. These theories help analyze how individual and social elements impact men and women’s career options and behaviors.
The case study shows various challenges to equality of men and women in terms of top management positions in the workplace. The first set of challenges is individually-based. Men tend to be more aggressive in fighting for higher pay and in getting promoted, while women tend to be inhibited and less in control in demanding higher salaries and during promotion decisions (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.242). Male lawyers provide more time for company-related work, so they tend to be more visible to committees in charge of promotions, than women who have families and set aside time for the latter. In addition, women lawyers also tend to accept work with lower promotion status but better scheduling control (Haley-Lock & Ewert, 2011). They may be doing more or equal work as other men, but they accept it than following the same billable hours as men, hours that reject the notion that men and women should also have time for their families. The study suggests that women seem to accept poor workplace terms and conditions easier than men (Haley-Lock & Ewert, 2011). The second set of challenges is social or environmental. They can come from the organizations themselves that have gender bias and stereotypes against women and do not have strong gender equality policies and implementation (Haley-Lock & Ewert, 2011). Challenges can also come from society itself, where the culture and media promote gender stereotypes of women as passive, submissive employees, who have to invest more on their families than businesses or careers than men (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.242). Human resource management policies and practices that do not promote work-life balance harm men and women too who have children and/or old parents to take care of (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.245). In the case of Evans, clearly, HR does not aim to correct unfair HR policies and practices that disadvantage men and women who want to have time for their families. Companies that have long work hours, inflexible scheduling, demanding performance quotas, and limited staff tend to give high-paying jobs and management positions to men who have wives, whom they rely on to take care of household and childcare responsibilities. Women do not have wives to take care of their household chores and parental duties, so many of them depend on part-time jobs that are low-paying or leave the workplace altogether to focus on family-raising responsibilities.
To increase the effectiveness of men and women in groups, they must learn from and respect each other’s different communication and decision-making styles. Men must learn to balance logic with emotion, while women must add logic to their emotional sensitivity (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.244). Men should also decrease the need for domination and control and be open to collaboration and finding win-win solutions like women (Bear & Woolley, 2011, p.148), as well as hiring women to full partnership status. To strengthen the effectiveness of hiring women in top management positions, a top management career preparation should be applied. Management candidates must come also from traditionally female-led departments, such as domestic issues (Parcheta et al., 2013, p.241). Mentoring, coaching, and other forms of formal/informal training will be combined, where male and female lawyers are provided opportunities to apply for the career preparation program. Thus, by enforcing gender-fair HR policies and gender-equal corporate values and practices, Attorney Evans and women and men like her can have a chance of being promoted as full partners in the firm.
References
Bear, J.B., & Woolley, A.W. (2011). The role of gender in team collaboration and performance. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, 36(2), 146-153.
Haley-Lock, A., & Ewert, S. (2011). Serving men and mothers: Workplace practices and workforce composition in two US restaurant chains and states. Community, Work & Family, 14(4), 387-404.
Parcheta, N., Kaifi, B.E., & Khanfar, N.M. (2013). Gender inequality in the workforce: A human resource management quandary. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 4(3), 240-247.
Young, M.C. (2010). Gender differences in precarious work settings. Industrial Relations, 65(1), 74-97. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Glass Ceiling Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words - 1”, n.d.)
Glass Ceiling Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words - 1. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/human-resources/1642663-glass-ceiling
(Glass Ceiling Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1)
Glass Ceiling Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1. https://studentshare.org/human-resources/1642663-glass-ceiling.
“Glass Ceiling Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words - 1”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/human-resources/1642663-glass-ceiling.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Glass Ceiling

The Glass Ceiling: Causes and Solutions

...? The Glass Ceiling – The Causes the the Solutions Introduction There is no doubt that women are beneficial for companies, therefore the issue of theglass ceiling is an important one. Saxena et al. (2009) found that having mixed gender boards is beneficial for companies, as companies who have women on their board of directors have a much higher return on equity, return on sales and return on invested capital than boards that have only men on their boards. Kannan (2009) states that women have good managerial skills because they have stronger intuition than men, are able to build relationships better than men, and tend to be more inclusive when making decisions. Deo (2009) states that women...
21 Pages(5250 words)Book Report/Review

Globalization

12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

ABC Model of Crisis Intervention

3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Glass ceiling

...of Institute] GLASS CEILING INTRODUCTION Wikipedia defines glass ceiling as situations where the advancement of a qualified person within the hierarchy of an organization is halted at a particular level because of some form of discrimination, most commonly sexism or racism. The term glass ceiling was first used by Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt in an article published in Wall Street Journal on 24th march 1986. (Wikipedia, n.p.) The labor department at that time took it very seriously and established a Glass Ceiling Commission. The glass ceiling commission...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay

Glass Ceiling

...Running head: The Glass Ceiling The Glass Ceiling insert here insert here The Glass Ceiling The entry of women into the paid labor forcehas fundamentally transformed Western society. Although women have made remarkable strides in a relatively short amount of time, society is not fully egalitarian and the sexual binary remains a feature of g life for millions of women in America. Accordingly, the sexual binary, which is predicated upon the notion that men are superior to women and that women have certain innate qualities which make them inferior to men, has ensured that full equality in the workforce is a goal not yet attained. Thus,...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Glass Ceiling

...Glass Ceiling and feminist theory al affiliation Feminist theory Gender relations have resulted into numerous debates in the contemporary world. According to Hanen (2008), feminism presents a milieu for criticisms and contributions regarding feminism. This theory endeavors to discuss the nature of inequalities in terms of sex and the origin of the bias of gender based statuses. The feminist theory argues that all individuals are alike and that oppression of women is a humiliating feature to majority of the women in the world. The theory also advocates for education as a way of empowering the girl child as well as putting in place legislations that will protect the girl...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

The glass ceiling

...Bypassing the Glass Ceiling in Psychology The glass ceiling is something that prevents women professionals from being able to enter in to the highest echelons of a profession. Though recent advancements for women in the workplace have allowed them to achieve higher rates of entrances in various professions, there are various systematic and cultural barriers that prevent women from advancing to the truly highest levels. These systematic barriers include things like minimal maternity leave, allowance for family emergencies and cares, and so on. The cultural barriers include issues like false perceived superiority of men in administrative and leadership roles,...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Glass Ceiling

...Glass Ceiling The ‘glass ceiling’ is an interesting symbol for exploring gender inequalities in the workplace or the corporate world. The barriers that hinder women from being promoted to higher positions or from occupying more powerful positions in corporate hierarchies have generally been illustrated by the symbol ‘glass ceiling’, a see-through wall which stops women from reaching the topmost of the corporate ladder (Palmer & Simon, 2010). According to Bombuwela and Chamaru (2013), the shortage of women in higher corporate positions is associated with continuous discrimination and bias against women within the organization. This means that even though women are currently able to move up to higher positions, at a certain point... they are...
2 Pages(500 words)Research Paper

Glass Ceiling

...Glass Ceiling Glass Ceiling Common Characteristic demonstrated Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, Condoleezza Rice, and Hillary Clinton are among the few women that have instilled hope among women in breaking the glass. The four have a broad understanding of issues to do with politics. They show a high moral character that has enabled them to organize and focus their efforts on their positions. The four have one character in common that have kept them going. Despite the hardship, the mocking, gender bias and discriminations, the four were ambitious and determined at achieving their ultimate goals. It is by ambition and determination that has enabled them breaks...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Glass Ceiling

...Glass Ceiling Insert Insert 4. Explain and discuss the concept of the glass ceiling. Examine and analyze how organizational culture and informal norms of behavior may operate to accentuate glass ceiling effects provide concrete examples to support your arguments. The glass ceiling is an unofficial barrier that is unbreakable and prevents women and minorities from progressing to upper levels in management irrespective of their qualifications. The discrimination always bases on person gender, race, sexual preferences, or even age. The situation is referred to ‘ceiling’ because of a...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Glass Ceiling for FREE!

Contact Us