Progression and Promotion

Progression and Promotion

The "glass ceiling"

Women tend to work at more junior grades than men across all sectors, and are likely to be found clustered in the bottom grades of most companies. The invisible barrier that prevents women from progressing to senior levels, despite seemingly fair recruitment and promotion procedures, is called the ‘glass ceiling’.

Women can be discouraged from applying for promoted posts for a number of reasons, including:

  • a culture of ‘presenteeism’ which wrongly equate long hours with excellence;
  • the presence of so-called ‘old boys networks’ which leave women without access to informal mentoring opportunities that men have;
  • a perceived lack of work-life balance at senior levels;
  • a lack of senior female role models; and
  • recruitment and selection processes that lack transparency.

Employers often find that they have two glass ceilings: one below senior management, and one above senior administration workers.

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