Women’s careers stuck between “sticky floor” and “glass ceiling”
Thursday, 11 December 2014
Women reach high level positions less often, and they also struggle to climb the first rungs of the career ladder more than men. This comes from a study of equality between men and women in the professional world conducted in Flanders. It was performed by Gent University (UGent), the IESEG management school and Louvain University (KUL). Women are most affected by the “sticky floor” and “glass ceiling” phenomena. Researchers sent 1,152 fictional applications for jobs in Flanders. They noticed men and women were treated equally when it comes to access to employment. “We did however notice a difference when the position applied for had the possibility for promotion”, says Stijn Baer, from Gent university. “In this case, the fictional male candidates had 23% more chance of getting a positive reply and 50% more chance of getting an interview”.
The study also showed discrimination in the access to positions of authority.
Women therefore find themselves stuck between a “glass ceiling” that stops their career moving forward, and a “sticky floor” that holds them in lower positions, according to the study.
The UGent researcher thinks that a modernization and development of anti-discrimination legislation is needed.