African-American Women Chip Away at `Concrete' Ceiling

By Suzanne L. MacLachlan, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 22, 1993 | Go to article overview

African-American Women Chip Away at `Concrete' Ceiling


Suzanne L. MacLachlan, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THE term "glass ceiling" has become increasingly familiar. It refers to the obstacles women face in reaching upper-management positions in corporations. But experts say the ceiling is even harder for African-American women to crack.

"When you're talking about a glass ceiling, black women are saying they are facing a concrete wall," says Stella Nkomo, a professor of management at the University of North Carolina and a Bunting fellow at Radcliffe College.

"To understand this, you have to understand that sexism is overlayed with racism," she says.

Ms. Nkomo was asked by Joyce Miller, executive director of the United States Department of Labor's Commission on the Glass Ceiling, to undertake a study of the impact of the glass ceiling on black women. Ongoing resistance

"When anyone says women are not affected or have gone beyond the glass ceiling, that's ridiculous," Ms. Miller says. A founder of the Coalition of Labor Union Women and a former vice president of the AFL-CIO executive council, she visited Radcliffe College last week to talk about the barriers to career advancement that minorities and women face.

When Miller was appointed executive director last spring by Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the commission, established under the Civil Rights Act of 1991, was relatively inactive. Under Miller, the commission began 17 research projects on various aspects of employment discrimination.

The commission will start releasing its findings early next year and will present a final report to President Clinton and Congress in January 1995.

One of these research projects focuses on how the glass ceiling affects white women; another on the broader topic of "race, gender, and ethnicity."

"The barriers for {black and white} women are similar and dissimilar," Nkomo says. "There's the sexism that all women face, and then there's the racism that's added for women of color."

In addition to her work for the commission, Nkomo recently completed a comparative study on the career experiences of black and white women with Ella Bell, a professor at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Nkomo says that of the 300 black and 450 white female managers she interviewed at US companies, more blacks said they were given little organized support, particularly in the areas of career counseling and training. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

African-American Women Chip Away at `Concrete' Ceiling
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.