The Glass Ceiling Phenomenon

Activity Description:


To help students critique the perspectives from which women and glass ceiling issues are addressed.


  1.  Have students read the articles for homework.
  2.  Ask students to prepare a 1-page response paper for each article.

BusinessWeek, December 22, 2003

  • Why should recruiters “look farther afield for candidates,” to increase “the likelihood of women landing seats?”
  • Which of the four perspectives does this represent?
  • What are the benefits and problems associated with this perspective?
  • Critique the conclusion that the share of women on boards is growing.

The Wall Street Journal, Feb 3, 2004, page B1

  • What are the stated differences between women and men?
  • What are the professional dangers associated with a willingness to be “grinds?”
  • What are the critical needs of women who desire to succeed in management?


  1. Put students in small groups to discuss responses to above questions.
  2. Ask each group to briefly present the group’s response to entire class.
  3. Engage the class in a discussion that is focused on perspectives that guide
  • organizational behavior,
  • research agendas, and
  • development of workplace policies.

Activity Source:

Content contributed by Prudence L. Pollard, Ph.D. as a Suggested Work and Family Class Activity