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Knowledge of The Existence of The “Glass Ceiling”

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Present study was carried out with the objective of enhancing knowledge about the existence of glass ceiling and its causes specially in relation to Indian Corporate Sector with special reference to women workforce. Till now we have spent far too much time addressing the symptoms rather than the root causes and drivers of gender inequality. The primary objective was to gather the resource data about the topic so as to further facilitate better understanding about the causes of under-representation of women in higher positions.. The research work is exploratory in nature and the paper is conceptualized and is based on the secondary data collected form various sources like books, journals,newspapers and internet. Shmailan AB(2016) compared the Characteristics of Male and Female Entrepreneurs as Explorative study and Explained that male and female entrepreneurs make decisions differently. Men tend to make them quicker and women takes more time.

Male focus on Economy and Cost while female focus on making social contribution and quality. Men are willing to take risks than women. Men tend to be task oriented managers. Women focus on good relationship with employees. Men are more aggressive when it comes to expansion. Women are cautious and conservative about expansion. Entrepreneurs must have more energy than normal person. Successful businessmen are hard workers and have the ability to overcome obstacles . In general entrepreneurs like to be the dominant person in the business and are driven to influence others. Ability to focus on new venture and confidence in their abilities is very necessary for being successful. They like to people to get what they want and like to direct the activities of those below them. Rashmi Kumari Glass Ceiling in Indian Corporate Sector tries to discuss Glass Ceiling phenomenon in Indian Scenario and attempt to pinpoint the factors contributing to low representation of women in management and the challenges faced by them across the countries in general and in India in particular.

Ambreen Wani examined that Glass ceiling is perceived all over the world with India being no exception. Very few women have made a big difference in the Indian Corporate World dominated majorly by Men. Women like Indira Noyi, Chanda Kochar, Shikha Sharma, Vinita Bali, Amrita Patel are among the few women who symbolized coming of age of female executives in the business world. Despite this, the Indian corporate scene by and large remains overarchingly male in nature. Further as believed by many people in the business world that there is no glass ceiling for women. This gives a rise of an important question is glass-ceiling a myth or reality? Three primary divergent views against the glass ceiling concept are: First Woman don’t want challenging responsibilities. Choices made by women regarding family, kids and household limits the time they need for career advancement. Secondly critics further argue that if women are made to pick between being a Teacher, Nurse, Doctor or a CEO, it is rare for them to choose high-powered position like a CEO. Third , working woman have an inner demon to fight, they are often put on a guilt trip when they return to work after a maternity leave.

Many women realize their family is more important to them than career development. Glass ceiling literature tends to ignore smaller companies where women are at par with their male colleagues. She concludes that barriers to female progression continue to exist. Monika Khemani: Glass Ceiling-Global study and its related implications: explored that Women who aspire to have a strategic positions in corporate world find it difficult to balance their professional and personal life. The purpose of this research is to address glass ceiling as one of the constructs of gender diversity and to offer suggestions for improving organizational capabilities to manage the glass ceiling. The demanding career needs lot of time and competitive skills and the word career has gone through a sea change in terms of its meaning and importance. This research further examines the effects of corporate culture, climates and practices on the existence of a glass ceiling from the perspective of women employees seeking higher positions.

A few women have moved beyond the glass ceiling into the executive suite, yet their number is not proportionate to their representation at the middle management levels and is far below that of their similar qualified male counterparts. . Owing to ‘glass ceiling’, the poor representation of women at senior management levels continues. There are several reasons behind the glass ceiling. First, homosociality as it implies that men have a tendency to prefer men for self-reflection, relaxation and social support (Reskin & Hartmann,1986), Secondly, sexiest attitudes can be used by the men in strategies to secure power, authority and other privileges. Third, statistical discrimination,where employers avoid promoting women because women as a group are absent from work more often than men, due to child bearing and child caring responsibilities.

Koshal & Gupta(1998) conducted a survey in “Women Managers in India: Challenges and Opportunities” to find out what degree the glass ceilings exist in the largest democracy of the world and how woman managers functions? The study also intended to analyse what kind of cultural barriers are existing for women in India that prevent them from advancing to corporate leadership positions? The result of the study revealed that more than 40 percent men and women believe that there are significant barriers to women’s advancement in their organizations and organizations do not encourage women enough to assume leadership position. There appear to be inequity in pay in corporate India. Fifty seven percent women think that they need to work harder than men to prove their competence. Jayita Mondal explored that leadership quality is characterized by boldness, Lutheranism, obstinacy and other characters that are deemed to be masculine.

Women in general are viewed as emphatic, expressive, kind and nurturing. Research in the field of control and leadership qualities reveals that presence of masculine traits is more pronounced in effective leaders. Women leaders at senior positions who adopt more of aggressive, self-determining, self-sufficient and sovereign characteristics are viewed as too competitive and believed to defy established social standards. The barriers that lead to the glass ceiling phenomenon are: cultural aspect. It is believed that taking care of family and doing household chores is an indispensable part of a woman’s life. She should sacrifice her professional front but ideally not delegate her responsibilities on someone else. Aspect: where woman have to work for late hours is seldom approved by society. A successful woman for the society is the one who earns for her family without compromising on her responsibilities towards her family.(3) psychological Aspect: certain character traits of women as emotional,caring,soft hearted and sensitive,etc pitch them against challenging senior level roles. When woman demand equal opportunities for promotions it looked is not deemed as a fair demand.

Judith G. Oakley believed that there are two very different categories of causation that explanations and theories concerning the lack of women in senior-management positions fall into. In the first category, barriers created by corporate practices,barriers stem from objective and therefore easier to change causes of gender imbalance that often tend to favour the recruitment , retention and promotions of; males over females. Explanations in the second category, behavioral and cultural causes are rooted in explanations that revolve round issues of stereotyping,tokenism,power, preferred leadership styles and the psycho dynamics of male/female relations. Gender-based stereo types on women in management was explored by Broveman et al.(1972) and Heilman et al(1989). Both studies found that managers consistently associated the more desirable managerial traits with man and the less desirable managerial traits with women. Men were seen as being aggressive, independent, unemotional, objective, dominant, active, competitive,logical, worldly, self confident and skilled in business. ,all competence related traits. Women were stereotypically seen as exhibiting the opposite traits of males on all the competence-related traits. It is also not surprising that successful corporate leaders, regardless of their gender, almost always choose to conform to the traits associated with the male stereotype.

The association of predominantly masculine attributes with the attributes of leadership puts women at disadvantage. Ultimately women can only do their best being themselves,yet being themselves in terms of dress,tone and pitch of voice and and conversational style may be at odds with the widely accepted stereotypes concerning traits valued in CEO s. Sarmistha Nandy et al. (2014) in Corporate Glass Ceiling An Impact on Indian Women Employees aimed at focusing on glass ceiling effect or gender diversity issue in organizations along with cultural biases,gender stereotypes and the approaches that all organizations should take to encourage and promote eligible women in respectful and managerial positions.The effect of glass ceiling in India, according to researchers psychological barriers, societal related barriers, organizational barriers act against woman. It has been found that certain personality traits like emotional, social, soft heartedness, warmth found in women are not suitable for managerial roles. Women are also risk averse.

Whereas in the area of globalization and increased competitiveness , organizations demand aggressiveness, competitiveness and risk taking abilities to develop and sustain. Societal related barriers: According to Anker (1977) women can not concentrate at their workplace as they bring their their domestic responsibilities and children with them at their workplace and prefer flexible work time for convenience. Organisational barriers: Because of her multi -fold duties women remain under pressure through the day and indirectly it affects their performances. And organisations for which they work generally exclude them from strategic decision-making process.The study was based on secondary source in form of various research papers,websites and ebooks. The research further suggests that organisation should focus on “human resources”rather than “man-resource” or “woman- resource” separately. Further research suggests that entrepreneurship may be the option for woman who are ambitious, careerist and have passion and want to prove themselves. Rizwana Yousaf and Rudi Schmied studied The Barriers to Women’s Representation in Academic Excellence and Positions of Power and intended to explore the barriers faced by women in academia.

It was established that women lack the leadership qualities. It also itemised that women are not suitable to the image of masculine leaders,while a leader needs a strong decision making power to implement /change various policies,which is lacking in most women. It also found that women might prefer a path to remain on the lower hierarchical level. They are more prone to work minimally to sustain the job not to excel. Chaturvedi rachna (2013) in Indian Women Enterpreneurs: a Journey in Cracking of The Glass Ceiling Effect conducted a study with a purpose to understand the paradigm shifts of India’s gender composition and how Indian women are carving a niche in entrepreneur world. The objectives were to evaluate the relationship between glass ceiling and female entrepreneurs in India, to measure the effect of glass ceiling on female entrepreneurs in India and to recommend solutions for overcoming glass ceiling. The study was descriptive in nature and survey and questionnaires were used to get the responses from around 150 entrepreneurs. After conducting the study the researcher was able to find out some factors for glass ceiling.

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