The glass ceiling refers to an apparent barrier that prevents women and minorities from rising to high-level managerial positions. A glass ceiling exists when a company’s policies or culture limit opportunities for women and minorities, even though individuals may be qualified for those positions. The term “glass ceiling” was popularized in the 1980s when it began to be used more frequently to reflect the difficulty women were having reaching executive-level positions within corporations instead of just being denied entry into middle management.

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