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So í you fight the ‘glass ceiling’

February 12, 2020

This term was born in the 70s when gender inequality at work began to be a topic to discuss. Why have we not overcome it?

The opinions expressed by employees are personal.

Surely you've heard about the ” glass ceiling .” However, the term is not as novel as we suppose although it has been hovering in the media lately. News about women who are affected by him and opinion pieces about Hillary Clinton like the one that “would break the glass ceiling and become the daily bread. And, although real progress has been made, much remains to be done. In Mexico alone, six out of 10 women professionals consider “that they do not have the same opportunities when it comes to promotion and development in a job” according to Forbes .

What is it?

So í you fight the ‘glass ceiling’So í you fight the ‘glass ceiling’

, an American labor consultant, was the first to talk about the “glass ceiling.” It was 1978 and, at a round table, Marilyn Loden argued that women did not ascend due to a culture that obstructs our aspirations and does not foster equity in opportunities. In 1979, this concept began to become popular thanks to the intervention of Katherine Lawrence, an employee of Hewlett-Packard, at the Conference of the Women's Institute for Freedom of the Press. In the lecture he gave, Katherine Lawrence made use of this metaphor to refer to the disparity between promotion policy and opportunities in her work environment.

In 1984, Gay Bryant, the editor of Working Woman magazine notes that “women have reached a certain point, I call it the glass ceiling, (where) they are at the top of middle management and they are stopping and getting stuck . There is not enough space for all those women on top. ” The “glass ceiling” appears repeatedly in the book.

In 1986, Carol Hymowitz and Timothy D. Schellhardt coined the term in a Wall Street Journal article “The Glass Ceiling: Why Women Can't Seem to Break the Invisible Barrier That Blocks Them from the Top Jobs” : why women do not seem to break the invisible barrier that prevents them from having the best jobs ”) describes those barriers that women face in the corporate hierarchy. The authors of this article defined the “glass ceiling” as “something that cannot be found in any corporate manual nor is it discussed in a business meeting” and that “was originally introduced as an invisible, undercover and unexpressed phenomenon that existed to maintain leadership positions at the executive level in the hands of Caucasian men. ”

How does it affect women?

Marilyn Loden, who also advises the United States Army on these issues, recalls in an interview with the BBC that, at the time, “she” was a professional expert in Human Resources in the telecommunications industry, however, my boss I often said “smile more”. ” Thus, his personal appearance was more important than his professional performance. He also witnessed sexism related to the rise of women in the labor ladder: “I was told that the advancement of women within the middle management was” degrading the importance “of these positions.”

The Federal Glass Roof Commission of the US Department of Labor defines it as the ” set of invisible barriers that prevent women from ascending to the upper levels of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements .” They are considered “invisible” because, in theory, there is no explicit limitation. If we review the laws, paper speaks of equality. But in practice? Inequality is reflected at the labor level for women, who are limited (if not prevented) to ascend labor. That frustration is widespread and appears in every corner of the world.

Data to better understand the “glass ceiling”

UN Women accuses that about 50% of women of working age are represented in the world's active population compared to 76% in the case of men. La, which promotes policies for economic and social improvement, points out that women receive 16% less in their salary than men belonging to their 34 member countries. In addition to that, according to this same instance, there is the participation of one woman for every 10 men in management positions.

In the case of our country, women represent only 16% of the country's business sector according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. He points out that women allocate more than 70% of their earnings to their family and their community as opposed to the interval between 30 and 40% that men give for this same purpose. The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit states that, by 2013, three small and medium-sized businesses in five that opened are led by women. Consequently, women entrepreneurs contribute 38.2% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and, today, we only have three women in the presidential cabinet.

What can you do to break the “glass ceiling”?

Let's not forget that gender inequality is a persistent problem in our country. The one carried out by the World Economic Forum (WEF) indicates that Mexico ranks 66th out of 144 countries and is below Kenya, El Salvador and Vietnam. The study reveals a decrease in professional women and technical workers compared to men, so Mexico is among the last places in the “Participation and economic opportunity for women” category. The inequality of opportunities in the corporate ladder is a serious problem. Look around you. How many women work with you? Are they respected as professionals? Are your opinions considered? Are there any cases of injustice or exclusion? Not only must we move towards equality between women and men in the workplace, but in all areas such as economic, scientific, political and cultural.

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