Glass Ceiling Factors Hindering Women's Advancement in Management Hierarchy
Journal of Economics, Management and Trade,
Aims: This aim of this paper is to identify the barriers that hinder women’s advancement in the management hierarchy in the financial sector (both banking and insurance) in Republic of North Macedonia, a country historically known for its masculine culture and stereotype–driven expectations regarding the role of woman in the society.
Study design: Original research paper. Analytical observational, cross-sectional study.
Place and duration of study: The research sample was consisted of male and female employees from banking and insurance sectors in North Macedonia in March 2021.
Methodology: A questionnaire was designed to achieve the objectives of the study in which the items for the barriers have been measured using 5–points Likert scale. The reliability and validity analyses were conducted; descriptive analysis was used to describe the characteristics of the sample as well as the strength and direction of the relationship between the variables, and ANOVA test was employed to examine the proposed three hypotheses.
Results: The obtained results of Cronbach’s alpha are 0.821, 0.836 0.918 for individual, organizational and cultural factors, respectively. The results suggest a significant difference among the barriers (individual, organizational and cultural factors) that prevent employees from obtaining upper–level positions in the organizations due to gender (p <0.001), whereas no significant difference was found among the barriers that prevent employees from obtaining upper–level positions due to age and work experience.
Conclusion: The obtained results call for attention to existence of gender disparities and gender inequalities in many areas of life, particularly in the labor market, when climbing up the corporate ladder. The study contributes to the literature by providing new practical insights into gender diversity initiatives focusing on growth and development aspects of female employees by breaking the glass ceiling and recognizing their competencies, qualifications, and achievement as well as giving them prospects for upward mobility.
- Gender diversity
- senior management
- glass ceiling
- career development
How to Cite
McKinsey & Company. Women in the workplace. McKinsey Global Institute: New York, N.Y; 2020.
Catalyst. Women on Corporate Boards. 2020.
Accessed 20 March 2021.
Deloitte. Women in the boardroom: A global perspective. 6th Edition. Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance: New York; 2019.
MSCI. Women on Boards. Progress Report 2019. MSCI ESG Corporate Gender Diversity Series; 2020.
Accessed 24 March 2021. Available:https://www.msci.com/documents/10199/29f5bf79-cf87-71a5-ac26-b435d3b6fc08
Macedonian Stock Exchange. Gender analysis of the management bodies of the listed joint stock companies on the Macedonian Stock Exchange. 2021. Accessed 8 March 2021.
State Statistical Office. MAKSTAT database; 2020
Accessed April 5, 2021.
Wilton LS, Sanchez DT, Unzueta MM, Kaiser C, Caluori N. In Good Company: When Gender Diversity Boosts a Company’s Reputation. Psychol Women Q. 2019;43(1):59–72.
Bear S, Rahman N, Post C. The impact of board diversity and gender composition on corporate social responsibility and firm reputation. J Bus Ethics. 2010;97:207–221.
Boulouta I. Hidden connections: The link between board gender diversity and corporate social performance. J Bus Ethics. 2013;113:185–197.
Campbell K, Minguez-Vera A. Gender diversity in the boardroom and firm financial performance. J Bus Ethics. 2008; 83:435–451.
Dwyer S, Richard OC., Chadwick K. Gender diversity in management and firm performance: The influence of growth orientation and organizational culture. J Bus Res. 2003;56(12):1009–1019.
Francoeur C, Labelle R, Sinclair-Desgagné B. Gender diversity in corporate governance and top management. J Bus Ethics. 2008;81(1):83–95.
Adams RB, Ferreira D. Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance. J Finance. 2009;94(2): 291–309.
Letendre L. The dynamics of the boardroom. Acad Manage Exec. 2004; 18(1):101–104.
Galbreath J. Are there gender-related influences on corporate sustainability? A study of women on Boards, J. Manag. Organ. 2011;17(1):17–38.
Heilman ME. Description and prescription: How gender stereotypes prevent women’s ascent up the organizational ladder. J Soc Issues. 2001;57:657–674.
Heilman ME, Welle B. Disadvantaged by diversity? The effects of diversity goals on competence perceptions. J. Appl. Soc. Psychol. 2006;36:1291–1319.
Rudman LA, Moss-Racusin CA, Phelan JE, Nauts S. Status incongruity and backlash effects: Defending the gender hierarchy motivates prejudice against female leaders. J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. 2012;48:165–179.
Konrad AM, Cannings K, Goldberg CB. Asymmetrical demography effects on psychological climate for gender diversity: differential effects of leader gender and work unit gender composition among Swedish doctors. Human Relations. 2010; 63(11):1661–1685.
Eagly AH., Karau SJ. Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review. 2002;109:573– 598.
Post C. (2015), When is female leadership an advantage? Coordination requirements, team cohesion, and team interaction norms. J. Organ. Behav. 2015;36(8): 1153–1175.
Giscombe K, Mattis M. Leveling the playing field for women of color in corporate management. J Bus Ethics. 2002;37(1):103–119.
Gotsis G, Grimani K. Diversity as an aspect of effective leadership: integrating and moving forward. Leadership Org Dev J. 2016;37(2):241–264.
Pollard PL. A critical analysis of gender-based workplace challenges facing women: Gender and compensation. Forum on Public Policy: A Journal of the Oxford Round Table; 2007.
Chisholm-Burns MA, Spivey CA, Hagemann T, Josephson MA. Women in leadership and the bewildering glass ceiling. Am. J. Health-Syst. Pharm. 2017; 74(5):312–324.
Weyer B. Twenty years later: Explaining the persistence of the glass ceiling for women leaders. Women Manag Rev. 2007;22(6):482–496.
Duehr EE, Bono JE. Men, women, and managers: are stereotypes finally changing?, Pers. Psychol. 2006;59(4): 815–846.
Roberson L, Kulik CT. Stereotype threat at work. Acad Manag Perspect, 2007;21(2): 24–40.
Jonsen K, Maznevski ML, Schneider SC. Gender differences in leadership – believing is seeing: implications for managing diversity, Equal. Divers. Incl. An International Journal. 2010;29(6):549 – 572.
Eagly AH. Achieving relational authenticity in leadership: Does gender matter? Leadership Quarterly. 2005;16:459–474.
Kaufmann G, Isaksen SG. Lauer K. Testing the “glass ceiling” effect on gender differences in upper level management: The case of innovator orientation. Eur. J. Work. Organ. Psychol. 1996;5(1):29–41.
Rohini P, Ford D. Gender quotas and female leadership. World Development report 2012: Gender equality and development; 2011.
Ragins B, Cotton J. Jumping the hurdles: barriers to mentoring for women in organizations, Leadersh. Organ. Dev. J., 1996;17(3):37–41.
Oakley JG. Gender-based Barriers to Senior Management Positions: Understanding the Scarcity of Female CEOs. J Bus Ethics. 2000;27:321–334.
OECD. Education at a glance, OECD Indicators.
Accessed 07 April 2021.
Johns ML. Breaking the glass ceiling: Structural, cultural, and organizational barriers preventing women from achieving senior and executive positions. Perspect Health Inf Manag. 2013;10(Winter).
Babcock L, Laschever S. Women don’t ask: Negotiation and the gender divide. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press; 2003.
Dehaghani MV, Cholmaghani G, Goli M. Factors Causing the Glass Ceiling in Public Organizations. Int. J. Sci. Knowl. 2013;1(5):106–115.
Bazazo I, Nasseef MA, Mukattesh B, Kastero D, Al-Hallaq M. Assessing the glass ceiling effect for women in tourism and hospitality. J. Strategy Manag. 2017; 8(3):51–66.
Bombuwela PM, De Alwis AC. Effects of Glass Ceiling on Women Career Development in Private Sector Organizations – Case of Sri Lanka. Journal of Competitiveness. 2013;5(2):3–19.
Azeez NPV, Priyadarshini RG. Glass ceiling factors affecting women career advancement in IT industry in India. IOP Conf. Ser.: Materials Science and Engineering. 2018;390. 012021.
Kiaye RE, Singh AM. The glass ceiling: a perspective of women working in Durban, Gender in Management: An International Journal. 2013;28(1):28–42.
Al-Asfour A, Tlaiss HA, Khan SA, Rajasekar J. Saudi women’s work challenges and barriers to career advancement. Career Dev. Int. 2017; 22(2):184–199.
Enid KR., Maniraj SA. The glass ceiling: a perspective of women working in Durban. Gend. Manag. 2013;28(1):28–42.
LaPierre TA. Zimmerman MK. Career advancement and gender equity in healthcare management, Gend. Manag. 2012;27(2):100-118.
Michailidis MP, Morphitou RN, Theophylatou I. Women at workequality versus inequality: barriers for advancing in the workplace. Int. J. Hum. Resour. Manag. 2012;23(20):4231–4245.
Tlaiss H, Kauser S. Perceived organizational barriers to women's career advancement in Lebanon. Gend. Manag. 2010;25(6):462-496.
Morrison A. A glass ceiling survey. Benchmarking barriers and practices. Center for creative leadership, Greensboro, North Carolina; 1995.
McKinsey & Company. Moving mind-sets on gender diversity, McKinsey Global Institute, New York, N.Y; 2012.
SHRM & Catalyst. Employee development survey report; 2005.
Accessed 10 December 2020.
Deloitte Women on Board Survey: gender diversity on boards doubled in organizations with female leadership; 2017.
Accessed 12 December 2020.
Cortina JM. What is coefficient alpha? An examination of theory and applications. J Appl Psychol. 1993;78(1):98–104.
Susmita M, Myra D. Diversity leadership: empowering to make a difference, Int. J. Organ. Divers. 2013;12(1):25–33.
McKinsey & Company. The power of parity: How advancing women's equality can add $12 trillion to global growth, McKinsey Global Institute, New York, N.Y.; 2015.
Chin JL. Introduction to the Special Issue on Diversity and Leadership. American Psychologist. 2010;65(3):150–156.
PWC, The female millennial: A new era of talent; 2015.
Accessed 10 April 2021.
Abstract View: 103 times
PDF Download: 49 times