Critical Analysis of the Glass Ceiling Phenomenon


  • Prudence LaBeach Pollard

Document type: Encyclopedia Entry

Appears in: Work and Family Encyclopedia

Year: 2005


  • Demographics
  • Gender
  • Mothers/Motherhood
  • Roles
  • Women


  • Business and Management


Management researchers and policy makers recognized over two decades ago that a “glass ceiling” existed for women in management. The glass ceiling is often viewed as an invisible organizational barrier [For a description of organizational barriers, see Allen’s entry in the Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia.] that is associated with gender or sex roles [For a description of gender, see Rothausen’s entry in the Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia.] The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that exists within organizations, and refers to women’s immobility into top decision making positions. The term, symbolizing inequality for women, first came to national attention during the groundbreaking three-year study of women executives, the Executive Women Project, which began in 1984 (Morrison et al., 1987). This paper describes the glass ceiling, examines perspectives from which to understand studies of the glass ceiling and approaches to shattering the glass ceiling; and discusses implications for both the research and policy approaches.

Link:Critical_Analysis-Glass_Ceiling encyclopedia