Namibia - The Land God Made In Anger

The Glass Ceiling Commission – 2022

Many people don’t realize the term “glass ceiling” was coined in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article. It described invisible barriers women and minorities must face on their rise up the proverbial corporate ladder. Once it was out there, there was no going back; and as a result, President George Bush appointed several Congressional leaders and the Secretary of Labor to identify and define these barriers that prevented not only women, but minorities as a whole, from reaching the top of their chosen careers. The goal was also to determine the time span for both men and women who enter the job market in part time jobs that allow them to promote over time.

Studies were conducted that identified these barriers and from there, they were submitted to President Bush, along with recommendations the committee made. Using a combination of public perceptions, business practices and even operating procedures from many of the country’s largest employers, this committee was put into place by the Glass Ceiling Act (Sec. 204 of Public Law 102-166). From there, public hearings were held with many employers in cities such as Kansas City, Kansas; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California and New York, New York. A total of 126 American companies participated and provided information regarding their hiring practices, employment ratios and even their collective views on what the “glass ceiling” meant.

Further, twenty-five CEOs many different business, each with its own dynamics and trends, told of how they hired employees, the career experience they looked for, recruiting efforts they typically made and how often they promoted women and minorities over their peers. Their discoveries were remarkable. Between 95% and 97% of senior managers, including vice presidents, were men. A. Harrison Barnes, lawyer and career coach, says the shifts began after the findings were released. Although there remains work to be done more than two decades later, a quick look at’s available job listings show a much improved and better balanced picture. Further, in 2000, the numbers prove these shifts are indeed permanent. Hispanic Americans who represented 5.5% of American upper management in 1980 now fill nearly 12% of these roles. African Americans in these upper management roles have rose nearly 2% to just under 13%. And women? A. Harrison Barne’s predictions were on target: those companies who promote women to upper management positions have been proven to experience far better financial success long term than those who have no female financial managers at all.

And the best part? These shifts are occurring across every sector in the workforce – whether one is searching for nursing careers or teaching careers or blue collar jobs, women and minorities are shining now the burden of the proverbial glass ceiling is beginning to lift.

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