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Business Ethics - Essay Example

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Clients Name Name of Professor Name of Class Date Why are there fewer women in top leadership positions? The fact that there are fewer women in top positions within the United States has been characterized by metaphors that suggest that there is a barrier that exists that blocks women from reaching higher levels of power and responsibility…
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Why are there fewer women in top leadership positions? The fact that there are fewer women in top positions within the United States has been characterized by metaphors that suggest that there is a barrier that exists that blocks women from reaching higher levels of power and responsibility. The metaphor has been called a glass ceiling and a labyrinth, as well as blamed upon the old boys club. The truth of the subject is that the female gender has been plagued by the domestic ideology, the belief that the public sphere belongs to the male gender while the domestic sphere belongs to the female gender. In this social construct, the idea that a female gains power within the public sphere is a threat to the male gender, thus creating a hesitation that still exists in today’s world. According to Eagley and Carli, the problem of barriers to the top positions in both politics and in corporate environments is evident in the statistics that are available. They reveal that only 6% of the top positions in corporations on the Fortune 500 list belong to women with only 2% holding the position of CEO. Only 15% of the seats on the board of directors of these companies are held by women. The problem does not only exist in the United States, but can be found throughout the world as exampled by the European Union in which only 11% of the top executives and 4% of the CEO’s are women within the top 50 companies. Fortune’s Global 500 has a showing of only 1% of the top positions held by women (105). The problem is glaring obvious through the worldwide statistics, making this not only an American problem, but a global issue. The metaphors that tell the story of the female experience in the work force within the United States suggest the fight that has gone on throughout the generations. The fight begins with the domestic ideologies, the philosophies of the appropriate place for male and female genders within the world. Women were considered the head of the domestic domain, thus their entry into the public domain would take away the concept of possession of women from men, as well as threaten the male sphere where he is to have province (Holloway and Palmgren 99). Therefore, the glass ceiling or the labyrinth through which a woman must navigate is filled with the bias and fear the men have created for themselves in believing that they must rule their domain. The metaphors that have characterized the female experience of entering the corporate world tell the story of the way in which society views women. This is not simply a male imperative that has been imposed, but women have had to fight through the biases of their own gender to gain an understanding from members of their own gender (Clark, Golinski, and Schaffer 25). Women have had to find enlightenment through generations of social shifts in thought in order to learn how to navigate the labyrinth and how to break the glass ceiling. Overcoming the male perspective on the place of the female has been accompanied by the female perspective on how she should and should not achieve. Because gender roles have developed along two distinctive spheres, when one gender crosses into the other, most often seen as the female enters the public domain, this has been viewed as a disruption in the ‘natural order’ of things. Thus, biases that exist within both genders have had to be enlightened in order to open the doors that allow for entry into positions of power. Therefore, those doors are still often out of reach, those roles maintained by men who have gained their positions as much through the belief that their gender is relevant as through the accomplishments that have put them into that place. Works Cited Clark, William, Jan Golinski, and Simon Schaffer. The Sciences in Enlightened Europe. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1999. Print. Eagley, Alice H. and Linda L. Carli. Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership. Article 30, 105- 111. Holloway, Lorretta M, and Jennifer A. Palmgren. Beyond Arthurian Romances: The Reach of Victorian Medievalism. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Print. Read More
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