The glass ceiling phenomenon in the US and EU labor markets
The "glass ceiling" is a metaphor for the barriers facing women and various minorities in the workplace when they strive for promotion or other improvements in their career. Research published in the International Journal of Services and Operations Management, compares the phenomenon in the European Union and the U.S.
Saška Gavrilovska and Balasundram Maniam of the Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, U.S., have found that the glass ceiling has been raised somewhat in recent times with many women and members of minority groups achieving higher mid-level positions at many companies and institutions. However, the barrier is still very much in evidence in terms of limited opportunities to break through the glass ceiling to top-level management positions. The team suggests that personality differences, discrimination, and the challenges of motherhood and childcare often reinforce the glass ceiling.
Earlier work and common experience suggest that there remain significant inequities between men and women and between majority and minority groups. Pay and grade disparities remain strong. To reduce workplace discrimination and promote gender and equality in general, there is a need for improved rights and policies, which should be adopted by companies and enacted in law. The EU and U.S. do have in place policies to improve rights, but there are many gaps, oversights, and loopholes that mean the glass ceiling, while slightly higher than in the past, remains a major barrier for women and minority groups.