In this study the glass ceiling is defined as a gender discriminatory career barrier in organizations. The problem addressed in this quantitative study is the disparity of gender representation in upper level management. The basic leadership styles of women managers may cause their failure to break through the glass ceiling. The glass ceiling appears to be a two-ply laminate construction. The first ply is described as the opinion women have of themselves, which is an internal factor. The second ply may be the opinion that men have of women's leadership traits, an external factor. The binding agent between the two plies is explained by similarity-attraction theory. To examine the differences in perceptions regarding the glass ceiling between female and male participants, 265 completed Likert-type surveys, developed for this study, were collected from the Zoomerang zSample. Nine internal factor statements were used to assess the first research question, "To what extent, if any, do perceived internal factors differ based on gender." The nine internal factor statements yielded five statements with a significant (t(263) = 1.96, p < .05) difference between the female and male respondents. Nine external factor statements were used to assess the second research question, "To what extent, if any, do perceived external factors differ based on gender." The nine external factor statements yielded two statements with a significant (t(263) = 1.96, p < .05) difference between female and male respondents. These data support the hypothesis that both internal and external factors contribute to the glass ceiling, with internal factors more dominant. Early education, in the form of a structured, government-sponsored preschool program, may be the best method of changing the internal factors that contribute to the glass ceiling. This early education, regardless of gender, would guide the child's perceptions and preclude the development of self-restricting internal factors. Additionally, it is possible that continued education, encouraged by government funding similar to the post World War II G.I. Bill, can transform the social and cultural foundations of this nation.
|Advisor:||Pogue, Laura A.|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 71/03, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Management, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Gender, Glass ceiling, Leadership, Women managers|
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