Gender Pay Gap
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In the scenario when women are trying to reach out to the market as an employee. It was not a red carpet that was waiting for them; rather it was something which made them face much discrimination. This discrimination is not restricted only not getting a relevant job, but even after that discrimination existed even at the level of payment. The present article tries to bring different reviews about the gender pay gap and also tried to explain the concept of a glass ceiling which explains the discrimination faced. Along with that the prevalence of the same is also shared.
Keywords: Gender pay gap, Glass ceiling
“Glass ceiling a form of gender discrimination”
People usually use the terms’ gender’ and ‘sex’ interchangeably, but there exists a difference between these two terms. Sex is our biological identification that is known as the time of birth because of a child’s genitals and gender is the social identity that a person has. This origin of gender in a person comes because of the roles and responsibilities that are given to a particular person. The process of gendering starts from childhood itself when boys are asked to play with balls and girls with dolls. Both the gender is discriminated everywhere and every time in society. The basic discrimination between males and females starts from home when they are taught their basic roles and responsibilities. Women are always taught to be in limits and are expected to take care of the house and family whereas make are believed to be stronger and are expected to be bread maker of the family. Gender has been studied by number of disciplines to know its origin reason and impact. Many gender researchers like Agars  has states that gender stereotype has been under examined and they do play a role in the origin of gender discrimination at places like organization leading to glass ceiling.
Women have always tried to move out of the boundaries and have tried to prove that they are no less than males. No matter how hard women try but they fall because of the discrimination they face at every level. This discrimination on the basis of gender in organization is termed as Glass ceiling. This term which is used by different researchers and philosophers to explain the condition of women in organization, where they face discrimination on the basis of gender. Glass ceiling is usually regarded as the transparent barrier which prevents women to climb the success ladder in organizations. Pai and Vaidya  has said that glass ceiling is a barrier that prevents women and minorities to reach the heights of organizational hierarchy. Appelbaum  define this phenomenon as the barrier which hinders the qualified women in advancing upward in an organization’s hierarchy.
Glass ceiling has always prevented females from reaching to the higher positions and even if they are successful in reaching to the higher position, they fail to reach a position where they do not face gender discrimination.
“The ‘glass ceiling’ (the subtle and invisible barrier that prevents women and minorities from moving beyond a certain levels in the corporate hierarchy) which restricts women from entering the upper echelons in organization, the differential treatment that women receive in organization as compared to the men, the discrimination in performance evaluation of women in organization and other such issues exist across the world to a lesser or greater extent and have been researched well in the western literature.
Even the women who do make it past the glass ceiling top executive positions apparently do not reach a place where gender equality is the norm .
Many researchers have seen that glass ceiling is measured and exist majorly in two forms that are discrimination on basis of salary and promotional opportunities. Sampson and Moore  noticed that there exists wage dissimilarity amongst men and ladies in the formative field, even Farroq and Sulaiman found the same. Alongside ‘glass ceiling’ there are a few different terms like ‘glass wall’ and ‘glass elevators’. ‘Glass wall’ is where ladies are not allowed to take part in different activities or roles. These ideas of ‘glass wall’ and ‘glass elevators’, essentially keep away women from the roles that need higher official capacities. These phenomena keep women to the post where they already are. However, another term that is utilized nearby is ‘glass cliff’. This exhibit a situation where the ladies at the higher positions are subjected to tricky occupation as contrast with their men partners. Unsafe employments include more hazard as contrast with different occupations. Taking ladies to such difficult and tricky roles make them inclined to more disappointment and feedback. These disappointments do make women feel that they are incapable of these roles, and this could lead to the rise of internal hurdle that would not make them successful or let them climb the organizational ladder. Along these lines, we can state that breaking ‘glass ceiling' can bring about 'glass cliff'.
Though there has been a number of researchers who support that glass ceiling do exist and prevent females to reach to the higher level, there also exist group of researchers who believe that glass ceiling is just a myth for example Rai and Srivastava  according to them, glass ceiling is just a myth and does not exist in the organizations. According to them there is no phenomenon called as glass ceiling that stops women to reach the higher levels in the organization. According to them if there is a discrepancy in the salary paid, then it is because women mostly quit the job in midway because of the household responsibilities. But in the recent times Bell  claimed that no doubt women have progresses in the past but glass ceiling effect do exist in the present times.
The problem and the challenges which women face in organizations in form of glass ceiling can be regarded as the form of discrimination which women face in this scenario. They are been discriminated from getting better job opportunities, promotions and equal level of pay in organizations.
Glass Ceiling: A Global Phenomenon
It is not the case that glass ceiling exists only certain parts of worlds and not in other. Many of researchers have claimed that glass ceiling is a global phenomenon. Women all over the world do face discrimination on the basis of gender in organization. Researches have shown that there are less number of women that are working on the higher position in different countries for example in Australia, China, France, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States [8-14]. It is not restricted to a continent or a country but can be found all over the globe. The percentages of women at the higher-level management can be summarized in this way. Mainland China (51%), Poland (48%), Latvia (43%), Estonia (43%), Baltics and Lithuania (40% each) leads in the terms of business, having females as a senior manager. Those with the lowest number of women are Japan (7%), UAB (11%), Switzerland (14%) and Argentina (18%). If we talk globally women make up 35% of the total workforce. Leaders are Latvia (46%), Hong Kong (45%), Botswana (44%), Mainland of China and Estonia (42% each). While the countries like UAB (14%), India (15%), Argentina (24%) and Chile and Turkey (25%) have the lowest business women.
But the question remains the same that why women representatives in the higher posts are too less? It’s just the responsibilities and the changes in the life that they face or conditioning and other cognitive factors like stereotype to plays a major role. This chapter has been written with the aim to study the causes of the glass ceiling and how it can be overcome.
Picture of glass ceiling in India
Like in other parts of world India do face the problem of gender discrimination, and like other areas this problem is also there in organizations or in the corporate world. Though, women in India are highly educated but still they are not seen in the higher levels . As per the Statistical Survey women account of 40% of the total working force in our nation but only 7% are seen when it comes to the level of board directors. According to a recent study, only 26.1% of the listed companies have women in their boards. Out of the 278 directors on the BSE Sensex companies, there are only 10 women directors. Also, women executives in India earn 40% less than what men earn in their entire career. Only 36% of the Indian companies have women holding senior management positions as compared to the 91% companies in China. According to the study by McKinsey and company, India is among the bottom three Asian countries in female representation on boards of direction . Only 5% women are found on executive boards. As per the Global Gender Gap report in 2015 issued by World Economic forum, India ranks 108 out of 145 countries in the world with the overall score of 0.664. The labour force participation gap index is 0.35, wage equality for similar work gap index is 0.51 and estimated earned income gap index is 0.25 though literacy gap index is 0.75. These figured predominantly shows the gender inequality in India .
According to the article in ‘the Indian express’, 68.5% of women of India feels that gender parity is still a concern and it’s the time that organizations should talk about it. Still there has been number of steps that has been taken 62.4% of women feel that males get more promotional opportunities as compare to female, they feel that gender do play a major role in deciding upon the promotional opportunities. Females also added that it’s not just the glass ceiling that impacts the growth of women in organization, but also ‘glass floors’, ‘glass doors’ and ‘glass walls’.
There are many researchers have stated that many women in India and have been able to reach the higher positions . This has also been supported by women like Chandra Kochhar, head of ICICI bank, and Shikha Sharma head of Axis bank and many others in banking sector. But if we talk about the gender discrimination index of India, India still ranks 113 out of 157 countries. This trend of breaking glass ceiling effect is evident mainly in the banking sector but not has been seen in the other sectors. Sachdeva  attempted to throw light on reasons why women are more successful in banking sector as compare to other sectors According to her one of the reasons for this is that banking sector prevents female from facing the gender stereotypes as in other sectors like manufacturing sectors. The other reason is that banking sector has started developing in diversity which others sectors has failed to develop. No doubt there has been number of researches that states that in banking sector women have been able to reach the higher level but there still exist a wage gap. According to the latest article in Mint “addressing the gender wage gap in India’ there exist a wage gap of 21.5% in banking, financial and insurance sector, therefore we can say that women might have been able to crack glass ceiling by reaching to the higher positions but still have not broken it, as they are still facing discrimination on the basis of salary.
If we see the picture of women working in IT sector, according to Ganesh Natarajan, CEO of Zensar Technologies and chairman of NASSCOM, gender discrimination has made glass ceiling in Indian IT industry. He further added that out of 23% of women working in IT sector only 7% hold the higher levels in management hierarchy1. It has been noted that male female ration in Indian IT companies is 4:1. Even in the article titled “addressing the gender wage gap in India” states that women do face the wage gap of 25.8% in technology sector. Similarly for the education and research sector article quotes that there exists a wage gap of 14.7% in education and research sector. Also  studied glass ceiling effect in educational sector. He concluded that both the genders are paid equally in government aided institutes, though discrimination does exist in self-financed institution, also promotional opportunities were also different for both the genders. Sharma and Chaturvedi  also noted that females are only restricted to the roles and responsibilities of teacher.
Forms in which glass ceiling exist
Many authors claim that glass ceiling majorly exists in two forms where females are discriminated because of their gender; these two forms are promotion opportunities and the salaries given to the person. Along with these two factors that form of roles and responsibilities and the level at which they are selected are also forms in which women face discrimination in organizations. There has been number of research papers which claim that women are discriminated on the basis of salary which they are getting, number of researchers have claimed that male and females are discriminated on the basis of promotional opportunities. If a male manager gets an opportunity to choose between a male and a female with same capabilities, a male will prefer a male candidate rather than female. There could be number of reasons for doing it might be their existing cognitions that females are not capable enough, or they would finally leave the job for their families or their conditioning to dominate females rather that working under a female. Researchers like Pai and Vaidya  and Sharma  have supported the notion that women are given less promotional opportunities as compare to males. But the major question that arises is why women are not promoted to higher level? The answer lies in the cognitive structure of that man hold. Again, in this the reasons that are explained further in the chapter do answer this question. But, if I try to explain in simple words, less faith of men or men at the higher positions on the ability of women could be one reason. Also, one major issue that arises is of attribution, the success of females is mainly attributed to the external factors like luck rather than to the internal factors like their ability. An example of lacking promotional opportunities can be taken from book gender stereotypes in corporate India which states the following:
“One consequence of inaccurate gender stereotyping is that women are less likely to be chosen or recruited for traditionally male positions, such as those in senior management. This occurs because the perceived lack of congruence between the job requirement and the stereotypic attributes ascribed to women leads to expectations that they will fail. (Heilman, 1983, as quoted by Sujoyabasu in the book)
Women, therefore, receive fewer developmental opportunities than men. Research has indicated that managerial development results from job characteristics associated with higher level positions .
Another bunch of researchers claim that women are also being discriminated on the basis of the salaries they are given. For example, Sharma  showed that females are usually paid less in self-financed and private educational sector as compare to the government financed institutes. Yet another example is given by Srivastava and Bajpai  they stated that women are paid half of the three quarters as compare to their counterparts for the same job. They are not directly become pray of this form of discrimination. When a woman enters an organization, they are appointed for a lower post as compare to their counterpart with same qualification and experience thus they are paid less. The recent article in mint titled ‘addressing the gender wage gap in India’ states the recent survey which shows that there exists a gap between the wages on the basis of gender. According to the Global Wage report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organization (ILO), India has the worst level of gender wage disparity that is 30%. According to the National Sample Survey Office’s 68th round conducted in 2011-12 shows that gender wage gap declined by 10 percentage points from 29.2% in 2004-05, this shows that even in recent times there exist a large gap between wages on the basis of gender. Also, according to the monster salary index on gender for 2016, the gender pay gap in educational and research sector is 14.7%, in banking, financial and insurance sector the gap is 21.5%, 25.8% in technology sector, 29.9% in manufacturing, 39.9% in healthcare, caring services and social work, 18.1% in construction and technical consultancy, 42.4% in legal and market consultancy and business activities and 5.2% in transport, logistics and communication sector. Also, according to 2012 ‘gender pay gap in the formal sector’ reported that the gap in wage increases with the increase in age and experience. Also, according to Monster India Report Indian women earn less 25% less than males [23,24], according to which median for men’s earning is of Rs. 345.80 while for the female it is Rs. 259.8.
Also, an article in ‘The Indian Express’ women do feel that gender do play role in decisions regarding promotional opportunities and promotion, they also feel that men do get more promotional opportunities as compare to females. According to Sanjay Modi, managing director, APAC and Middle East monster.com, states the following.
“In India, the gender pay gap holds true and the overall gap across India Inc is at 25 percent. This primarily is a manifestation of the underlying diversity challenges that organizations face….. there is a dire need for tangible initiatives to bridge this pay gap with removing structural impediments to omen’s growth providing access to skill trainings, jobs and decision making”.
Sharma  showed in their research that females are appointed at a lower position as compare to their counter parts. Yet another way in which women do face discrimination is the types of roles and responsibilities they get in organization. It has been seen that women are usually given role or responsibility which they think are easy or suit their character. For example, Sharma and Chaturvedi  noted that women in educational institutes are usually restricted to teaching jobs. Females have also faced discrimination on the basis of the responsibilities they have been given to be completed. Though, there has been number of evidences that glass ceiling does exist in the organization that do not allow females to climb the higher ladder in the organizations  but there are also number of evidences that there is no such phenomenon called as glass ceiling in organization .
Yet another form that takes the face of glass ceiling is the biased evaluation that women face. The book gender stereotypes in Indian Corporate states the following:
“Another cause of concern is that women’s achievement tends to be devalued or attributed to the luck or effort rather than to the ability or skill (Deaux, 1976; Nieva and Guteck, 1980) which may reduce the organizational rewards that they receive”.
This shows that the stereotype that exist in the mind of managers do impact the evaluation that they do. Even though females are doing their delegated roles responsibly, just because they are females, they are devalued or face the biasness during evaluation.
Reasons for glass ceiling
Everything that exists because of some reasons. As we have earlier discussed that glass ceiling is just not the cause of many things but also an effect of several things in organization. There has been number of researchers to find out why women are discriminated in organization and one common reason that emerge was the gender stereotypes that exists in the mind of men and sometimes even in mind of women. There has been number of researches and explanation describing the causes of glass ceiling effect . Some of the theories that make the ground for glass ceiling are explained in this section.
Explaining all the theories and the explanations for the phenomenon would be far difficult, though some of the influential theories and explanation are discussed. Some of the evolutionary psychologist believes that glass ceiling effect is the result of the process of natural selection. According to Weyer , Okimoto and Brescoll , Catalyst  and many other researchers the less number of female leaders is linked to the ongoing prejudice and discrimination that is there against women in organizations. Some theorist also points gender discrimination as an explanation for glass ceiling effect. For example, Hakim  proposed her preference theory citing the gender differences which can be responsible for the competitiveness and thus responsible for the glass ceiling effect. Glass ceiling effect can also be explained by the cognitive theory of prejudice toward female employees. This theory is based on the some of the communal characteristics that are associated with female workers and male workers. It is assumed that female leaders are nurturing, helpful, kind and sympathetic while male leaders are assertive, ambitious, independent and self-confident [30,31] These characteristics of male leaders are considered as agentic and are associated with more success . Other than these characteristics effective leadership is also linked with behaviors like brazenness, fierceness and sovereignty, which are labeled as “masculine” personality. Women are projected by society as cheerful, reliant and nurturing. Researchers have noted that people who re successful as leaders usually have the masculine traits and if women are observed behaving in such characteristics they are behaving outside the societal norms (Burton and Parker, 2010). If women behave according to the agentic traits which are expected to be good leader, it gives rise to ‘blashlash effect’, according to which if women behave in the manner which are against the stereotypical behavior, then they are negatively evaluated. This stereotypical and societal pattern of thought discriminates between men and women even when they are behaving in same way. Men behaving with these characteristics are labeled as “direct” but females with these characteristics are called as “punitive” . One of the concepts that relates to the communal characteristic is find the traits that are associated with successful leadership and then checking whether females have those traits or not. Even in context for these traits there lie managerial gender stereotypes, a managerial gender stereotypes a managerial characteristic on which a significant perceives difference is found, coupled with significant association with managerial success. An example for the communal characteristics can be taken from the book “gender stereotypes in corporate India” which is as below:
“….. to illustrate further, let us consider a managerial trait like ‘analytical ability’. For example, ability to be considered a managerial gender stereotype, respondents would have to first associate analytical ability with managerial success and then again would have to make a significant difference while rating men and women on the trait of analytical ability. So, on the same scale pertaining to the analytical ability, if they rate successful managers and men mangers high while rating women managers low, analytical ability would be considered managerial gender stereotype”.
The above-mentioned characteristics according to the norms were also supported by the social role theory, proposed by Eagly in 1987, as a reason for glass ceiling effect. According to this theory the behavior of each gender is dictated by the stereotype associated with their respective gender. Communal characteristics are those characteristics itself which are associated by each gender thus, supporting the social role theory as a reason for glass ceiling effect. It has been found that women are expected to be more empathetic, emotional and soft and these characteristic behaviors are not in line to the corporate board room. Contrary to this Daily et al (2003) said that though these characteristics are not expected in the corporate board room that doesn’t mean that they are not beneficial for the organization, having a presence of female director can enhance the decision making. This theory explains that there are certain responsibilities that are given to each gender and if we feel that a particular gender is moving out of the expected role one is not able to accept it. In the case of glass ceiling as women move out of the stereotypical role of theirs or the role assigned by the society, it become difficult for them to accept it and women in the organizations and higher roles. There is preconceived picture in every person’s mind of everyone which related to the characteristic of each gender. For example, male is perceived to be physically strong and dominating which is not expected in a female. When a woman comes to the leadership role they behave and work according the role expectation. These are incongruent to the cognitions that are been there. Thus, indirectly become reason for not promoting women to the leadership role as they are not ‘expected’ to be dominating, thus, promoting glass ceiling effect on organization. One of the major theories underlying both the reason could be the theory of conditioning. Reason of the behavior of not promoting woman to the leadership roles and other higher post could be the conditioning that takes place in the homes and societies. This conditioning is responsible for giving rise to such cognitions and behavior. Conditioning not only promotes glass ceiling effect on the part of males but also females. There are certain cognitional dispositions in the mind of females that their primary role is to be home maker and take care of the family and children. This preconceived cognition does become hurdle for their success and their motivation to fight for the equal opportunities to climb the higher levels in organization. Other than this theory of similarity attraction theory can also explain the reason of less number of women in organization. The corporate world is already dominated by men. As they are dominating the companies, they try to get more similar people into the organization. Thus, they are more inclined towards choosing more men in the organizations. Yet another cognitive theory is based on two form of stereotypes that are descriptive stereotypes i.e., expectations about what members of a group are like and the prescriptive stereotype i.e., what they should ideally be like. The interplay of these two results in women being less suitable for the higher posts in the organization. According to Eagle and Carli, Weyer [28,24] these two forms of prejudices are responsible for glass ceiling effect. If leaders truly want to reduce or get rid of ‘glass ceiling’ they should understand that a successful leader is the one who possess competency and characteristics of a good leader. It is never dependent on the gender of the person whether he or she can be a good leader or not.
Many authors have focused on theory of similarity while stating the reason for glass ceiling. But as per author this cannot be regarded as the major cause of glass ceiling. According to this theory, managers promote those whose are similar to them. That mean women would promote women and male would promote male. But the concept of “queen bee syndrome” contradicts the notion. According to this syndrome women at the higher position are more critical to the subordinates who are females. Thus, we can say preferences towards males to promote them can become the reason for glass ceiling effect. Though, it has been seen that males are preferred for the promotion but the reasons are still not clear for such behaviors. Also, queen bee syndrome does prevent women to climb up.
Yet another reason for glass ceiling according to author is family support. It becomes very important that females should get family support to be successful. According to Sarika  those women face complexities and obstacles in their career due to the multiple roles they have to play at organization and house. As females are playing major role of care giver in families, it might interfere with the role they play at organizations, which impact their performance. Therefore, it becomes important to get the family support so that they can responsibly complete their organizational roles. Also, Williams and Coopers  acknowledges that family obligation do impact women’s performance in organization, in addition Clancy and Tata  argues that husband’s support plays a crucial role for the success of women in organization.
It is not that only theories are the major reason for the existence of glass ceiling, author believe that to a great extent woman too are responsible for glass ceiling. Women can prevent the impact of glass ceiling on them, which further prevents the glass ceiling to get strengthen. Women’s own perception that their major task is to take care of family and they have to kill their dreams in order to take care of family is the major disbelief that they are holding. Women should understand that there are many helps available in the society which can help them to fulfill their dreams. They must understand that if they need help in order to have work life balance, they must take it. If they are able to maintain the work life balance, they might not able to break glass ceiling, but yes at least they can reduce the impact of glass ceiling.
Do glass ceiling impact women?
One of the major question that arises is, that whether the gender discrimination that is prevailing in organization impacts women or not. Channar  found that gender discrimination faced by women impact the satisfaction, motivation, enthusiasm and commitment. It has been observed that women who face gender discrimination are less motivated and enthusiastic as compare to females who don’t face any form of gender discrimination. The enthusiasm or the m motivation of a person would be better if he or she feels that the efforts of that person are respected and are receiving the reward according to the efforts. When females feel that they are discriminated despite of the efforts they are facing their motivation would decrease. This discrimination could also impact the commitment women would show toward the organization.
The relationship between motivation and gender discrimination can also be studied with the help of Herzberg theory. The main assumption of this theory is that satisfied employees are motivated and dissatisfied employees are not self-motivated. According to this theory there are two set of factors that impact the motivation level of the employees. The first set is called as the ‘satisfiers or the ‘motivators’ that are responsible for the intrinsic motivation of the employees and the second set of factors are called as the ‘hygiene factors ’or the ‘maintenance factors’. Factors like promotion, salary would work as the motivators, but when females are discriminated on the basis of pay and promotion that they should get but are not getting, would decrease the motivation level of women facing discrimination.
In several researchers’ gender discrimination has been seen as an important factor for the attributes like satisfaction, organizational commitment etc. . Irfan, Hussain and Yousaf  has observed that women working in organization are more committed and show better performance in an indiscriminative workplace environment as compare to the discriminative environment.
According to Ehsan, Ghafoor and Salman, the performance of the employees and the achievement of organizations’ goal depend on the factors like job satisfaction of employees, commitment of employees, the promotional opportunities they get etc. as the women who are discriminated would not be satisfied with the job, they are doing which will impact their performance. Also, as they are facing glass ceiling, they are discriminated for promotions and are not getting equal opportunities as males, which again impact their performance and would decrease their performance in organization. Therefore, we can say that indirectly the gender discrimination faced by women impact their overall performance, impacting the organizational goal.
According to author, glass ceiling not only impacts the organizational attributes of females but it also impacts the personality and other psychological factors in females. When females are discriminated and they don’t get equal opportunities for growth as compare to their counter parts despite the equal amount of efforts they put in, it will definitely impact the self-esteem and the worth of women. The impact of gender discrimination undoubtly depends on the individual coping mechanism of women, thus it could be the case that some females get more impacted as compare to others, but it does affect the.
Overcoming Glass ceiling
After understanding these factors, it becomes important to understand ways to overcome the problem of glass ceiling effect. These methods are suggested by authors to overcome glass ceiling effect. One of the major ways to overcome glass ceiling is by breaking the conditioning that is happening at homes and society. An adult behaves in the way in the way in which they are been conditioned in childhood. Keeping this in view it become important that the practices at home should change and conditioning related to stereotypical behavior and other things should not take place. Parents should try not to make cognition of children stereotypical regarding the role any gender is having. If such conditioning continues to exist in minds the kit would become difficult for women to climb the higher level. Also, if this conditioning breaks, women would able to analyze their own capabilities on other filed other than taking care of family and home and would be clearer regarding their goal. No doubt, in the present times mindsets have changed and women are given equal opportunities, educational opportunities and organizational opportunities but still there needs to improve the status of females further.
Glass ceiling cannot be broken with the efforts of single person, there is a need to take steps from both the ends. In this context organizations should also take steps to make women more comfortable for working. These steps could include flexible working hours, pick and drop services, gender sensitizing workshops in organization etc. these steps would empower females and would help them to maintain their work-life balance. Some of the cases of different organizations has been discusses at the end of this section; these cases can also help other companies to decrease the impact of glass ceiling on women .
Yet another way to overcome the problem of glass ceiling could be family support. Of women need support from organizations, family support does play a major role in the same. Family trust and family support do play a major role in success and happiness. In order to make female trust themselves and have confidence in their capabilities, it become important that her family should support have and have faith in her. Also having supportive family would also help a female to help her in fulfilling the responsibilities she has towards the family so that she can also focus on her career and growth. Author is not saying that family should take over all the responsibilities but is supporting the attitude of contributing toward the activities so that a female can also take care of her careers and goals. Even according to Jain and Mukherji , the success of women relies on maids and home assistance from other family members.
Women should work on their own obstacles. There are many hurdles that lie within women, and block their career growth. Like males’ females should also become aware of their own capabilities and career goals. They should have confidence on themselves, and should give importance to their own choices and dreams. Women should also try to maintain their contacts and should be visible in organizations.
Many researchers have noted that women are better leaders and managers than males. Also, not only families and societies have role in helping women to break glass ceiling effect but organizations also have role in breaking the glass ceiling effect. Organization may take several steps for women which may include programs like career development program for women, exposure of women to top management, survey to assess job satisfaction of women etc. The Tables 1 & 2 below tries to show the strengths of women as managers.
There has been number of companies that have taken steps for the benefit of women. Some of the cases are been given below.
- Case of HSBC India
Under the leadership of Naina Lal Kidwai, HSBC India mission to make it a better workplace for women. There were steps taken to understand the gender ratio at different levels in the organization. Glass ceiling was significantly found at the different levels and thus the following steps were taken by the company
Identifying change agents: there was a committee forms which had representatives from different ages, races, classes and regions so that the diversity in the organization could be appreciate.
- Gender diversity as well as inclusive leadership: To improve the gender ratio at the middle level workshops were done with the business heads.
- Establishing the diversity supportive culture: Meetings were organized with people across different levels, exit interviews were analyzed and conversation was done to understand the experiences of new comers.
- Flexible working policy: Bank started with flexible working hours which were proved to be beneficial for the women working in the organization. This step helped women to maintain their work-life balance. (Source )
- Case of IBM India
IBM’s major focus area was in diversity management as to make women progress in the organization. It ensures the increase in representation of women in leadership and executive roles to ensure that the brand image of company is the best employer for women. iBM took the following initiatives to break glass ceiling in the organization:
- Gender sensitivity workshops to the managers
- Quotas for women candidates in searches for senior positions
- Special recruitment drive for women.
- Welcoming women back after period of leave
- Formal mentoring program
- Paring high potential women with senior executives
- Flexible transfer policies
- Home connectivity were tried to be provided
- A streamline transport system with radio networks to address safety concerns. (Source )
- Case of deloitte
Deloitte has successfully integrated development of women into the blood of company. The aim and the vision of the drive was marketplace growth and create a source where the best employee was selected irrespective of gender. The following were the vision of the drive
Organization believes in gender equity and optimum utilization of employee talents irrespective of gender has been realized.
Company adopted flexible work arrangements through virtual connectivity so that employees do have tools to work when they are away from office.
Web communities were built so that both males and females could share their views and perspective about career life balance
Pick up and drop facilities were provided to female executives
Apprentice program which aligns young women with senior leadership
Tracking hiring and promotion number to focus on equity
External support of India women forums. (Source )
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