Looking Through the Glass Ceiling: Social and Individual Influences on Women’s Career Decisions
Arts and Sciences
Presently, the research regarding the social and personal motivations behind women’s self-limiting decisions has been minimal. Our work discusses how women are still underrepresented in the upper echelons of organizations, and although inequality does partially explain the gender disparities, this explanation leaves women with little ability to impact the course of future change, and ignores the choices women make to leave, or not advance, in the workforce. Social pressure for women to lead and succeed in so many different roles has created more self-limiting behaviors as women choose to simplify. The question we are attempting to answer is why we still have the glass ceiling; if the explanation is social pressure and unfair gender environments, then it may support large-scale trends. If it is individual choice, then gender inequality may not be the driving factor. It is possible that this research might reveal a decline in social pressure to minimize career advancement. By surveying women to study a relationship between career beliefs and self-efficacy, we will then attempt to show that the statistical disparity between women and men holding high-level career positions may be less about gender inequality than originally hypothesized. Therefore, this research aims at uncovering whether internalized stereotypes and expectations influence women’s self-limiting behaviors more than the lack of opportunities to advance.
Keywords: gender, career, women, self-limitation, goals, social influences
Gilliam, Megan; Luth, Jessica; and Patzer, Lauren, "Looking Through the Glass Ceiling: Social and Individual Influences on Women’s Career Decisions" (2017). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 612.