Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Can Women Reach the Top of America's Largest Corporations?

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Can Women Reach the Top of America's Largest Corporations?

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Can Women Reach the Top of America's Largest Corporations?

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Can Women Reach the Top of America's Largest Corporations?

Synopsis

Women compose nearly half of today's workforce, are in more management positions than ever before, and have reached every level of the Fortune 500--except the most important ones. This book explodes long-held myths and provides practical advice on the first steps needed to effectively break the glass ceiling.

Excerpt

Since 1987, when Breaking the Glass Ceiling was originally published, "glass ceiling" has become a household term. Managers and media alike have used this term often as a symbol of inequality for women and, more recently, for people of color as well. The government, too, has adopted the term in the Department of Labor's "Glass Ceiling Initiative" and the Glass Ceiling Commission that was incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 1991.

The surge of interest in the glass ceiling phenomenon and the availability of new research has prompted us to update this book. In our continuing work and travels, we are often asked such questions as: Isn't the situation different now for women? Isn't the prognosis better now for aspiring female executives? What new insights do you have about how women can break through the glass ceiling? What should employers be doing to keep and advance women? Do your recommendations also apply to women and men of color?

Our challenge was to answer these questions without rewriting the original book, because we believe that the stories and points made in it are still very relevant today. We have, therefore, kept much of the text intact but have included new findings and implications based on more recent research by ourselves and others, and we have brought important statistics up to date. The new Introduction and chapter 8 describe some recent techniques organizations have used for removing the barriers that prevent women and other nontraditional managers from advancing.

For those curious to know how this book ends, today's prognosis is less gloomy but hardly cheerful. Progress depends on an active partnership between individual women and their employers. Because there is some evidence that such a partnership can be forged, we believe that the picture ahead is brighter now than it was five years ago.

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