HR Glossary
Glass Ceiling

Glass Ceiling

Updated on:
August 22, 2022


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Table of Content

What is Glass Ceiling?

The glass ceiling is the term used to describe the invisible barrier females face in the workplace. The glass ceiling is a barrier that prevents women from advancing in an organization to positions of higher authority, power, pay, and responsibility.

The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier that is provided through social customs and behaviors. It is created by both men and women in the workforce. The glass ceiling is maintained by traditional gender roles that have evolved over time. Women are expected to play traditional roles, work the traditional types of jobs, and be subservient to men. 

Is the Glass Ceiling Still a Problem?


The glass ceiling is a concept originally coined in 1980 by Carol Evans to describe an unwritten rule or belief within certain companies that women are not suited for management. Specifically, the glass ceiling is the belief that women are not capable of leading, managing, or directing a team. It is considered to be an invisible barrier that prohibits women from entering top executive positions, especially when compared to those in male-dominated fields.

The glass ceiling is a societal construct that is created by many forces, both societal and personal.

Different patriarchal societies created different beliefs regarding women, and these beliefs resulted in a societal construct that was created to limit women.