The Glass Ceiling Definition: “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements” – Wikipedia. Glass is the perfect metaphor as it may be hard to see until a woman ‘hits’ the barrier. It is not an explicit practice of discrimination against women, more specific policies, practices and attitudes in some workplaces, without the intention to discriminate. Resulting in being difficult or impossible for women to achieve promotion and close the gender pay gap.
Hilary Clinton in her concessional speech in 2008 said “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it.” She was officially nominated for President – the first ever woman to do so in US History.
Gender Pay Gap
There are suggestions it will be 100 years before the gender pay gap is closed.
- According to the Office for National Statistics The gender pay gap, stood at 14.1% in 2017 with no movement in the last three years.
- Women in their 50s are paid on average 18.6% less than their male colleagues.
- The gender pay gap for women in their 20s is much smaller, but has been widening recently, and is now five times greater than it was six years ago. There was a notable increase, from 1.1% in 2011 to 5.5% in 2017.
Changes are happening
It’s not all bad news, there are a number of factors driving change which provide grounds for hope. Gender pay gap reporting for larger organisations from April 2017 is a step forward. With the arrival of Big Data it is increasingly easier to measure and report differentiation in treatment or abuse. It may be 100 years since the Suffragettes fought for the right for women to vote but there is still a long way to go in terms of equality in the workplace. Campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have shown the power of social media to spread messages, and harness opinion quickly bring issues into sharp focus on the public domain.
Understanding the need for change
I would hope that most people reading instinctively recognise that this needs to change. It must change. The law requires it to change. If none of this has convinced you, read about the financial benefits of getting it right (and costs of getting it wrong).
Do you feel you’ve reached the Glass Ceiling?
If you are on the receiving end of a harassment at work, limited in your career or receiving inferior pay for the same work, steady change is, not enough. Whether directly affected or not we all have a duty to push harder and quicker for societies which are truly gender equal. We also have a duty not just to do that in our own circle, our own firm or our own society, but to make quick, global and lasting change, not a distant dream but a reality.
How WorkinConfidence can help
If you wish to lead the way for your staff to anonymously discuss creative ideas or report any other issues affecting them – WorkinConfidence have all the solutions, call us for a demo today or sign up for our monthly Newsletter. The benefits to your organisation far outweigh doing nothing at all.
International Womens’ Day – 8th March 2018 – a good place to start. #PressforChange