Saturday, January 30, 2010

The glass ceiling

The glass ceiling (as described in chapter 2 of the visionary chronicle of our age- Organizational Behavior by Kreitner and Kinicki) is a metaphor that I heard so much during the last presidential election, but didn't understand until just now. Up until now, I thought the reference was some obscure metaphor coined specifically for Hillary Clinton's presidential bid... turns out that was pretty shortsighted of me, and I apologize...

But I found the metaphor (as described in the book) to be very true. Minorities and women do face a certain prejudice in the workforce. Regardless of one's views on the politics of such matters, I consider myself part of a logical breed of people who have this crazy world view that everyone should have an equal opportunity... something about "all men created equal..." must be the ravings of a bunch of lunatics (or, as they are actually called... THE FRAMERS!)

Prejudice isn't dead. It's obvious that women and minorities face an uphill climb toward a semblance of equality, and we need more forward-thinking managers and executives who are willing to take these groups out of positions of limited upward-mobility. It pays to promote good talent wherever it is. It doesn't matter if the person up for promotion is a woman, Portuguese, mentally challenged, homosexual, or whatever the hot-topic "don't promote" criteria is these days. It makes good business sense to promote those with good ideas, and reward those who work hard. We pride ourselves on being a progressive society, but with prejudicial issues still at the forefront of the business landscape, I think we have a long way to go before we earn that moniker.


  1. I agree with your statement that prejudice is not dead. Even though everybody tries to flaunt how culturally acceptable they are and how much they do for minorites, one can't help but ask if they are doing it for themselves or to really help others. Often times people act like they care about certain causes but are only doing it to build up a good reputation. So, it is also kind of funny that companies who employ the glass ceiling idea are actually hurting their company by denying the minorities. I guess their image is more important than their success?

  2. Good points, but what can companies do about it? How do we change those unconscious attitudes and perceptions?