The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling Essay

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The History and Breakdown of the Glass Ceiling

The term the "glass ceiling" first came into use in 1986 when two Wall Street Journal reporters coined the phrase to describe the invisible barrier that blocks women from the top jobs in corporate America. (Glass Ceiling Commission,"Successful Initiatives "). Since then the metaphor has also been applied to the barriers of minorities. The Glass Ceiling Effect has been around for approximately 50 years. In my opinion it is on its way out the door. Corporate Officers and Senior Management are noticing the merits of women and minorities and doing something about it.

The glass ceiling, in its simplest form, is the theory that women and minorities do not advance into senior
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The 1964 Act prohibits employers, unions, and employment agencies from discriminating against job applicants and employees on the basis of race, sex, age, handicap, religion, or national origin. The law prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, discipline, compensation, and other conditions of employment. (Reader's Digest, "Know Your Rights",1997). The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the backbone of efforts to eliminate employment discrimination. (Glass Ceiling Commission. "Enforcement Techniques", 1993). The Act allows victims of discrimination in the workplace to privately litigate claims. The Act started the advancement of women and minorities in the workplace. Until this point women were in the workforce steadily, but not advancing. Minorities were also present, but almost never in positions of visibility. Women and minorities in senior management were almost unheard of. Employers are now forced to review and revise policy and procedures for hiring and promoting within their respective companies. They are now accountable to the government and liable to the employee in the event of discriminatory behavior.

At this time and since then, several agencies have been organized to enforce the Act and prohibit discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission came into effect to enforce antidiscrimination laws. The EEOC investigates allegations of bias, negotiates agreements after charges are filed, and occasionally goes to
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