22 August 2018

Research Pick: Through the glass ceiling - "Through the glass ceiling: is mentoring the way forward?"

Over the last thirty years or so the term “glass ceiling” has come to symbolise the barriers faced by women in attempting to make upward progress in their careers.

Now, a UK team has demonstrated that where women break through the glass ceiling, whether in the corporate, academic or other areas, mentoring has played an important role for them. However, they point out that mentoring is no panacea and that other strategies aimed at reducing gender inequities in the workplace must also be put in place. In the twentieth century, feminist socio-political activism fostered the movement of women into education and the workforce.

The twenty-first century must now aspire to progress through equality in all walks of life. “Mentoring programmes should be such that they help mentees through the processes of relationship building, setting gender-equal dynamics between mentor and mentee and in the organisational context,” the team reports. Moreover, it is important to continue to challenging gendered attitudes and social norms so that predetermined social roles can be discarded and everyone can explore attitudes and behaviour helpful for careers and personal lives too.

Lantz-Deaton, C., Tabassum, N. and McIntosh, B. (2018) ‘Through the glass ceiling: is mentoring the way forward?’, Int. J. Human Resources Development and Management, Vol. 18, Nos. 3/4, pp.167–197.

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