Glass ceiling is a term that encompasses multiple forms of workplace discrimination. “Glass ceiling” refers to describe an unseen, seemingly shatterproof barrier that keeps an individual from rising up the corporate ladder despite their qualifications, talent, or achievements. Though the term was first coined during the late 1970s by the feminist movement to describe barriers that hinder the advancement of women because of their sex, the glass ceiling encompasses workplace discrimination based on an individual’s sex, race, and who are members of other protected groups included in Chapter VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Houston employment lawyers Robert J. Wiley, Kalandra N. Wheeler and Tamecia Glover represent workers who feel they have been discriminated against by being denied advancement opportunities because of their race, gender, national origin, or other protected groups.
Despite employers’ efforts in the last few decades to extend higher career opportunities to women and minorities, women and minorities are still treated unequally in the workplace. In most corporations and companies, corporate management and senior leadership is made up of an incredibly small percentage of women and minorities, even though these latter employees may have graduated from top schools and been top of their class.
Glass ceiling inequality becomes more apparent as women and minorities progress through the careers. At some point, women and minorities may see elite positions open up in their company, but cannot reach them regardless of their credentials. Many times, these barriers may arise because of stereotypes, prejudices and biases that decision-making executives may harbor toward members of a certain group.
The existence of a glass ceiling at the workplace can manifest itself through a statistical analysis of the facts surrounding a case and comparisons among different groups of workers. However, the glass ceiling at a company can also take form in more subtle ways, such as meetings where women and minorities are excluded from attending. These meetings often build professional relationships and business connections, and can be instrumental in determining future promotions. By being excluded from these meetings, women and minorities are being denied the ability to form these professional relationships, which could very well prove vital in advancing through their careers. It takes an aggressive and experienced attorney to obtain this information from an employer. Though the barriers that make up a glass ceiling are different for each company, they are more pervasive among traditionally “male dominated” industries, including healthcare, higher education institutions, financial establishments, and technology and manufacturing companies. Regardless, employers should promote employees based on their qualifications alone.
If you believe you are the victim of discrimination in the form of a glass ceiling, call us now to schedule a consultation to discuss your case. Though a glass ceiling is not a specific claim, individuals can file suit under their particular category in the Civil Rights Act they believe they are being prevented from advancing in their careers because of discrimination. For example, if you are a female and were denied an executive position over a less qualified, educated, and experienced male peer, you could file lawsuit claiming gender discrimination. Often within a company exhibiting a glass ceiling, discrimination is seldom a problem for just one individual. A company could have a majority of women and minority workers, but it becomes clearly problematic if every senior management position is filled by non-minority men.
Contact our office now and present your case to ensure your workplace rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve!