ERIC Number: ED340653
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
The Glass Ceiling Initiative. A Report.
Department of Labor, Washington, DC.
While minorities and women have made considerable gains in entering the workforce in the last few decades, there remains a dearth of minorities and women at management levels. This phenomenon has come to be known as the "glass ceiling." The Department of Labor defines the glass ceiling as those artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upwards in their organization into management level positions. In 1989 the Department of Labor set out to investigate the glass ceiling in corporate United States to see if there was a problem, what were the causes, and if there was a problem then how this problem could be fixed. This report presents the findings from the Labor Department's "glass ceiling initiative" to date. The initiative has involved, to date, four separate components: (1) an internal educational effort within the Department of Labor; (2) a pilot study looking at nine individual companies; (3) public awareness to the issue and encouragement of voluntary efforts; and (4) an effort to recognize and reward publicly those companies that are independently removing their own glass ceiling. The pilot study of corporate management is the main focus of this report. Nine Fortune 500 establishments were selected randomly for review. Among the findings that applied to all nine companies, despite the vast organizational and other differences that existed among them, were the following: if there is not a glass ceiling, there is certainly a point beyond which minorities and women have not advanced in some companies. Minorities have plateaued at lower levels of the workforce than women. Monitoring for equal access and opportunity, especially as managers move up the corporate ladder to senior management levels where important decisions are made, was almost never considered a corporate responsibility, or part of the planning for developmental programs and policies. (DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Labor, Washington, DC.