Glass Ceiling Is Still Solid -- Especially if You Have an MBA

glass ceilingThis is not one of those "good news" stories. It seems to get told again and again, and that's the news -- that little changes. Sometime in April, women celebrate Equal Pay Day. It's the day "commemorating" how much time women have to work to catch up to men's pay from the previous year. In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, extending the time allowed to sue for pay discrimination. However, there are still loopholes not specifically outlawing wage discrimination.

While equal pay has been the law since 1963, as of 2008, women are only making 77.8 cents on the dollar earned by men. Yes, women are CEOs and firefighters and are encouraged to be anything and do anything. But now yet another study has revealed that the glass ceiling is still solid.

That Fancy MBA Isn't Helping Women

In the Catalyst's "Pipeline's Broken Promise," it's educated women who report inequity. Catalyst looked at men and women who completed MBA programs and their career paths. According to the study, women were more likely to start in a first job at a lower level than men and their salaries were lower as well -- to the tune of $4,600. It's important to note that Catalyst controlled for all those things that might sway the results: experience, industry, geography, aspiration, and parenthood.

When some time passed, women didn't catch up either. It was found that men were twice as likely to be at the CEO/senior executive level as women. Part of Catalyst's study involved focus groups with leaders (men and women) at some of the world's largest corporations. "In general the feeling in the room was disappointment. They know how much their companies invest in diversity," said Christine Silva, co-author of the study. "I think they were able to have light-bulb moments. There was a feeling of the need to pick this up again."

Corporate Leaders Surprised by Findings

Men and women in leadership capacities were surprised at the study's findings. The study highlighted executives' comments from companies ranging from Deloitte to Sara Lee, Xerox to UPS.

David Dillon, Chairman and CEO of The Kroger Company, said:

"Companies that are willing to consider changing benefits and policies that support today's working families will put their businesses in a better position to develop and retain a rich pool of talented employees. As a result, their own work force may better reflect the very clients and customers they want to attract."

Janice Fields, President and CEO of McDonald's USA offered this observation:

"These findings are just deflating. I know so many women of my generation who have worked hard to make the situation better for women coming behind them. They've mentored, coached, led by example, and broken through countless barriers so the next generation would have a level playing field and advancement opportunities would be gender blind. This really calls companies to reexamine their recruitment, retention, and advancement efforts and accelerate efforts to fully engage the entire workforce, especially Gen Ys."

Real World Example

Outside of the data set, there are real-world examples. Rena Patel (not her real name) has her MBA. She works in New York City in a department dominated by men (finance/IT), in an industry dominated by men (advertising). She's had her MBA for 15 years and she's been at her current company, a top international advertising company for six years. "I do believe that I have been passed over for higher positions because I am a woman," she says. "My proof: There are no women in leadership positions."

Patel recounted a story of how the night before a presentation, the 11 male members of the leadership team must have realized that the testosterone-laden panel looked bad. A woman was promoted that night and appeared on the panel the next day. She attributes much of the implied discrimination to the fact that many executives have been in the industry for decades and bring a male mindset, much like you see in the TV series, Mad Men. Since 1962, the Catalyst has worked with upwards of 400 member companies to promote a fair and inclusive workplace. The results of this study indicate there's a lot more work to do.

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Typical "strawman" nonsense. If he doesn't agree with your skewed agenda, dress the scarecrow up as a misogynist. That only works in politics and back-slapping cocktail/pot parties. People imbued with common sense see right through you.

March 16 2010 at 6:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

20. He is hostile, aggressive, contemptuous, or cruel to her.

March 16 2010 at 11:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

When I was 20 years old, I was hired by a major financial company. I worked 10-12 hours per day. I did not receive overtime. When I told the company I wanted to return to college, they had me train two men to split the job. They explained that these two men couldn't be expected to work such long hours, because they were married and had families. I found out right before I left that each of these men was being paid exactly twice what I had been earning. I kept in touch with a co-worker in the office, and within 18 months each of them had been fired, because they simply couldn't do the job! But...they had wives and families, so they were WORTH more. You probably don't find it surprising that I became a tireless advocate for equal pay for equal work!

March 16 2010 at 3:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Twenty-six Characteristics of a Misogynist:

1. He thinks that his masculinity depends on dominating women.
2. He feels powerful by subjugating women.
3. His emotional security depends on women being controlled.
4. He wants to insure that women are less powerful than he.
5. He controls women by destroying their self-confidence.
6. He is unnecessarily critical of women.
7. He intimidates women by finding faults with them.
8. He humiliates women in public and devalues their opinions.
9. He sees encounters with or about women as a battle to be won.
10. He must always win in a discussion with or about women.
11. He blames women for failings that are not related to them.
12. He blames women for his own failings and shortcomings.
13. He accuses women of being too sensitive if they get upset with him.
14. He will confuse issues by changing the subject.
15. He will confuse issues by denial or word jugglery.
16. He will confuse issues by acting as if nothing happened after it did.
17. He belittles or ignores women s accomplishments.
18. He denies her feelings and makes her wrong for feeling them.
19. He is condescending, taunting, jeering, or angry toward her.
20. He is hostile, aggressive, contemptuous, or cruel to her.
21. He makes derogatory comments about women in general.
22. He wants to punish women when they displease him.
23. He has no remorse or guilt for the pain he causes women.
24. He is in anxiety about women and meditates on them.
25. He forces women not to do things that they re qualified to do.
26. He selectively quotes authorities to substantiate his position.

Misogyny is a mental disorder that requires therapy. If someone you knowhas some or all of the above symptoms, humbly request that person tofind qualified treatment for their condition.

March 16 2010 at 1:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are you sure you are responding to the right person. I never make snide remarks to or about anybody. My comment was only that I am glad to be retired. Period.

March 15 2010 at 10:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to perry's comment

Sorry. That's why I asked.

March 16 2010 at 2:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You know, the 1950s weren't really the 1950s, either.

Roger, if that's what you call logic, women are SERIOUSLY underpaid.

March 15 2010 at 7:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Greeneyedkzin's comment

Greeneyedkzin, That remark about making mother proud was aimed at AL, not you.

March 16 2010 at 12:37 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

listen up people. women are less reliable, more emotional and miss more work if become pregnant. then after they have the baby ..they mentally battle themselves as to whether raise their child or go back to work and let someone else raise their child. either choice to them is the wrong one after they live a week of you have a mental case.
this is why they are paid less to do the same job as a man.

March 15 2010 at 7:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fact of the matter is that a woman will never command as much respect in the workplace as man will. Nor are their brains hardwired like a man's when it comes to leadership, confidence, and logical thinking. Like it or not, men and women are NOT equal. Their roles are equally important, but their roles are also completely separate. I would not expect a man to do as well in the household or keeping up with the children either. It is just the way we were both built on a physical and mental level.

Feminists are mainly to blame for putting it in women's heads that there is no respect in raising your children or tending to the house. Putting in their heads that the only way to have any honor in your life is to start taking up what men do. Do everything men do. Even wear pants because that's what men do. It's all degrading and total bull.

March 15 2010 at 7:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dm28fla's comment

Dan, who listens to you and tells you you're making sense?

March 15 2010 at 8:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And here we were lead to believe that Obama waived his majic pen and fixed this problem!!

March 15 2010 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with you, Ed.

March 15 2010 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 15 2010 at 7:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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