|Written by:||Sheillah Maritim|
The concept of equality and diversity offers a broad platform through which the social mechanisms identify with the desirable values, for instance, promotion of human rights and championing of equity and fairness. In essence, these conceptual frameworks make it easier for everyone to have an equal chance to achieve the potentiality without any form of prejudice or discrimination. Broadly, this mechanism offers a ground for the propagation of equal opportunities even in the workplaces, thereby guarding workers from any form discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, personal belief, age and sexual orientation. The concept of gender equality entails the equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities given to both women and men without having to discriminate against either gender. It entails that both genders are not treated any differently even in workplaces with regards to roles played, promotions etc. In their quest to attain a promotion as well as have a positive influence on an organisations by landing a top-level job, women are faced by a raft of barriers. Coupled with the societal mindset and the institutional hurdles, these barriers lay a fertile ground for impinging on the rights of women with regards to landing any form of a top-level job. The advancement of women with regards to the corporate workplace has augmented over the years. However, the situation is hampered by the fact that an increased female presence within the domain of executive and mid-management levels is clouded by a male-dominated sphere. In essence, despite the situation that paints a picture of women ascendancy, they are in reality underrepresented in areas such as governance, management and leadership. In this regard, the barriers become hard to recognise in that the systems augment it and compounds under the societal viewpoints about women.
The glass ceiling offers a mechanism that underlines the invisible obstructions and hindrances that women face in their quest to attain top-level positions in a corporate venture. Even though women advance to some mid-level positions, they are unable to pass this stage and attain a senior position. Despite the positive change in the global and societal view with regards to women and leadership, the situation has sadly deteriorated. Corporate restrictions and barriers keep on cropping up within the management and leadership models of an organisation, thereby limiting the women from acquiring advancement in the corporate ladder. The unseen hindrances and the complexities within an organisation provide the basis to the glass ceiling, thereby precipitating prejudice and discrimination against the female gender in relation to their quest for a role in corporate governance, leadership and management. Such instances formulate a setting that makes it hard to unlock the full potential of women in the workplaces. The corporate setting as well as the structural models of organisations and institutions breeds a situation that curtails the rise of women as regards leadership. These situations conjure structural and societal forces that are entrenched within the policy and culture of an organisation. In this regard, the social mechanisms and polices enhance the conditions through which an organisations perpetuates inequality with regards to the roles played by both genders. Moreover, these instances bring about a social perception within the corporate as regards the obligations of the women, thereby hindering their progress. Practically, it increases the negative perception of the public in relation to the role played by women in the social and communal platform based on their corporate expectations.
Discrimination in the corporate world brings about a forum that increases the utilisation of the prevailing perceptions as regards the role of women in the workplaces. The aspect of gender bias in organisations continues to persist through a company’s culture, thereby making it hard for women to scale above their ambitions. The society sees the ideal leadership and governance attributes as resembling those exhibited and associated with men, thereby puncturing the hopes of women advancement in corporate ladders. Even though the prejudices against women are not based on any form of reason, they persistently continue to limit the potentiality of women as regards the roles played within the organisational setup. Sometimes, women get fixed in an institutional barrier with regards to the job they are expected to fulfil. This way, and as per the glass cliff, they get the top-level job they have wished for so long but not knowing that they are bound to fail as predicted and analysed by the corporation. In this regard, while the scenario may seem as if it promotes women to leadership positions, it may as well be an inhibiting factor. The end result is usually based on the lack of support that women get in such instances and they consequently leave such positions. In the end, through the increased risk of failing in the roles, the situations depict women as being unable to manage properly based on an erroneous thought that women have lack of skills coupled with non-compliance of commitment. However, research show that more than 90% of women find other jobs after leaving their senior position, thereby underlining their leadership and management skills.