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Social Forces Colloquium Series: Roberto Fernandez, MIT
January 30, 2019 @ 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM EST
Reflections on the Glass Ceiling Many studies have adopted the metaphor of the “glass ceiling” to describe the phenomenon where women’s representation declines across increasing levels of organizational hierarchies. While this pattern is very common, the causes of this phenomenon are not well-understood. With few exceptions, studies have assumed that the glass ceiling is produced by internal promotion biases which favor males. However, little research has subjected this assumption to empirical test. While promotion barriers might indeed be at play, the glass ceiling pattern can also be produced by gender differences in organizational exits or hiring into different levels, or perhaps all three factors working simultaneously. In this presentation, we get “under the hood” of the possible drivers of the often observed pattern, and present data collected from a number of organizations where we can identify and measure which flows – promotions, hires, exits – contribute most strongly in producing the empirically observed glass ceiling pattern.