What Is A Glass Ceiling

A glass ceiling refers to a barrier that prevents individuals from advancing to leading roles or receiving equal pay to peers, often due to unconscious bias. Due to a perceived weakness, employees are overlooked, the result of bias.

While racism and sexism have historically been associated with glass ceilings, nepotism, a professional’s age, and favoritism, all play a role in blocking skilled employees from filling deserving roles, setting a paradigm of familiarity in leadership. Merit-based promotions are being discarded in favor of promoting an employee with seniority or simply due to favoritism, creating a glass ceiling that discourages motivation.

Multitudes of people find themselves trapped out of promotions, no matter how talented, or determined they are, de-motivating the employee. Once a proficient potential leader is left in the hallway, while a less skilled coworker is instead offered the position, they’ve hit a glass ceiling.

How To Spot A Glass Ceiling

Knowing if you have hit a glass ceiling is often a suspicion, something hard to objectively prove. However, there are usually signs someone trapped under a glass ceiling can look for.  Has the boss been promoted? Are they also stuck in their position? Are you underappreciated for your efforts? Are there more apparent signs like nepotism or favoritism? These are all burning signals of a glass ceiling. No matter the reason, get through it and advance your career.

How To Get Through The Glass Ceiling

For the sake of one’s career, passing through the glass ceiling is essential. However, those suppressed by the glass ceiling often grow a sense of resentfulness toward those who have consistently overlooked them. So instead of breaking through the glass ceiling to work beside those who effectively created it, find your promotion in another company.

What Headhunting Firms Do

Finding opportunity in another office is commonplace and tactical when faced with strong career obstructing bias. Headhunters work to fill roles, often management or leading positions, at companies who are seeking experienced, tenured, professionals. What differentiates a headhunting firm from a recruiting firm is the method of sourcing. Headhunters may search a client’s competitors, or similar industries for a client who is currently employed, and work to convert them from one company to another. Headhunters work on a personal level as well to staff individuals who may be seeking a new position, working to promote them to a higher position through a change in setting.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

While forcing a glass ceiling to break is possible it may be the less satisfactory option. Breaking a glass ceiling that consists of ingrained bias that saturates companies culture or leaders is an undertaking. However, finding opportunity in another corporate entity is a modern solution to the historically ground obstruction a glass ceiling presents.