Finding the Key to
the Executive Suite
Challenges for Women
and People of Color
Although women and people of color have made progress in attaining managerial positions, they are still not well represented at executive levels. Morrison and von Glinow (1990) suggested that female managers and managers of color encounter a “glass ceiling,” defined as “a barrier so subtle that it is transparent, yet so strong that it prevents women and minorities from moving up in the management hierarchy” (p. 200). Current thinking is that instances of overt discrimination are becoming increasingly rare. Rather than disappearing altogether, however, discrimination against women and people of color has become more subtle and may be reflected, for example, in cultural norms or work practices that inadvertently disadvantage these groups (for example, see Meyerson & Fletcher, 2000). For instance, in organizations where contributions are measured by “face time” rather than actual accomplishments, women who spend less time at work due to their family responsibilities are at a disadvantage. Although men who spend less time at work would be similarly penalized, the majority of domestic responsibilities are still carried out by women (Shelton & John, 1996), suggesting that mostly women are disadvantaged by this practice. Also, selection of executives may be based on subjective factors such as informal networks and the comfort
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The 21st Century Executive: Innovative Practices for Building Leadership at the Top. Contributors: Rob Silzer - Editor. Publisher: Jossey-Bass. Place of publication: San Francisco. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 229.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.