The Glass Ceiling In the 21st Century: Understanding Barriers to Gender Equality

David Maldonado

Since the term glass ceiling was first coined, women have made great progress in achieving leadership equality with men in the workplace. Despite this, women are still underrepresented in the upper echelons of organizations. In this volume, leading psychologists from the United States, Canada, and the European Union go beyond social commentary, anecdotal evidence, and raw statistics to explain and offer remedies, based on empirical evidence, for this persisting inequality.

Subtle barriers to women’s advancement to and success in leadership positions are a major focus; for example, women are regularly recruited for upper-level positions that are associated with a high risk of failure, and female managers are stereotyped as either competent or warm–but not both. Other obstacles associated with encountering or breaking through the glass ceiling include more nuanced forms of gender stereotyping, tokenism, and sexual harassment. The somewhat surprising effects of affirmative action and family-friendly policies are also examined.

The editors and contributors to this volume offer a range of practical solutions at the level of the organization (e.g., affirmative action), the work group (e.g., diversity management), and the individual (e.g., cross-cultural networking). They offer women viable suggestions for making career choices and for thriving in the hard-won positions they have attained. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)