Library Dissertation Showcase

Female leaders; a qualitative look into the glass ceiling

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2019

Despite being a significantly well investigated phenomenon, little consensus has been reached to the cause and factors contributing to the glass ceiling. Legislation introduced over previous years has made organisations today more gender diverse and the presence of women within organisations has slowly increased however, the existence of the glass ceiling and implicit stereotypes towards women at work still exist. This qualitative study explored the glass ceiling from a female leadership perspective with the aim of developing a better understanding of why women are significantly underrepresented in positions of leadership in the hope of bridging this gap. Seven women in positions above managerial level across both the public and private sector were interviewed and their responses examined for common themes and patterns. The three specific themes identified and to be discussed were a) the work/life balance of working mothers b) a woman’s perceived technical abilities and c) the male perception of women in the workplace.  These findings help organisations determine areas that need focus in order to continue to grow the number of women in positions of leadership. By doing so, the stereotypes surrounding women are likely to be reduced and the glass ceiling shattered. Additionally, by promoting the presence of women executives, more women will believe that it is possible for them to advance and have confidence, in the hope of closing the significant gender gap in the workforce.

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