If you feel like you can’t get ahead in your career, it may not be your fault. It could be that you’re being held back by factors outside of your control. If you feel like these factors are making it so you can only climb the corporate ladder to a certain level, you could be experiencing the glass ceiling effect.
The glass ceiling is just a metaphorical device, of course, but it references the fact that some people encounter barriers that others don’t even see. This can especially be problematic for women who are trying to get ahead in their careers.
A difference in treatment
One way that you can see the glass ceiling is when you’re being treated differently based on your gender. The same rules don’t seem to apply to you as they do to your male counterparts.
For example, perhaps you and a male coworker started on the same day, with entry-level jobs. Over the next five years, you both worked your way up to being managers.
For you, that’s where the progress stopped. You applied for promotions but were denied. You were simply stuck in your managerial role. However, at the same time, you watched your male coworker continue on up the corporate ladder. You had started on the exact same day, but it wasn’t long until they were far ahead of you. They left their managerial position behind and got an executive position where they kept working their way up.
The actual reasons that you’re being denied these promotions could be because of sexual or gender-based discrimination. Maybe the company’s owner doesn’t believe that women can handle executive roles, for example, but will only give those jobs to men. If you do find yourself in this position, and you can see that your rights are being violated, be sure you know about all the legal steps you can take.