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“Glass Ceiling": Diversity in the Workplace


The glass ceiling is “an invisible upper limit in corporations and other organizations, above which it is difficult or impossible for women to rise in the ranks” (Lewis, “Glass Ceiling: What Is It? Does One Exist?”). It limits women from receiving pay raises and experiences that men typically would receive (Lewis, “Glass Ceiling: What Is It? Does One Exist?”). This report will discuss how the “glass ceiling” may affect the careers of women and minorities in various occupational settings.

Diversity in the Workplace

Diversity in the workplace is important as it provides many benefits to businesses.

A few benefits include Talents, creating innovation and improve employee performance. (Deering, “What are the benefits of Diversity in the Workplace”). People who have different backgrounds can show their different talents, skills, and experience which can be beneficial to the organization and work performance. It also creates innovation as people can introduce a new idea, give feedback and suggestions on how to improve. This links to diversity as many people from different backgrounds have different working styles and ideas that may be appealing which can overall benefit.

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(Deering, “What are the benefits of Diversity in the Workplace”). Finally, it can improve employee performance as it can create an environment where everyone is involved and makes employees feel comfortable thus, higher team morale results in the employees being more productive. (Deering, “What are the benefits of Diversity in the Workplace”).

Pay Gap

The gender wage gap is defined as “the difference in earnings between women and men in the workplace.

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It is a widely recognized indicator of women’s economic inequality, and it exists across industries and professional levels.” (“The facts about the Gender Wage Gap in Canada”). Statistics Canada has used earnings of full-time, full-year workers on an annual basis. According to that, Statistics Canada states “women aged 25 to 54 earned an average of $52,500 in 2014, while their male counterparts earned an average of $70,700.” (Statistics Canada). These figures have then been turned into ratios (women: men) which shows that women earn $0.74 for every dollar that men would make. (Statistics Canada). This showed that women were earning $0.26 cents less than men were. Perhaps due to family responsibilities, on average women in comparison to men work fewer hours even on a full-time basis, resulting in gender base pay inequality. The gender pay gap is measured through the annual earnings of full-time workers. It emphasizes the differences between the number of hours men work versus the number of hours women work. Although labour cost and its quantity reflect annual earnings, the hourly wages only reflect the labour cost, thus they touch upon the issue of discrimination based on gender. According to Statistics Canada, “Women earned an average of $25.38 per hour in 2014, while their male counterparts earned an average of $28.92. It follows that women earned $0.88 for every dollar earned by men.” (Statistics Canada). This shows that women earned $0.12 cents less than men. Its been a fact, according to Statistics Canada that men in our society are more privileged than women, especially when it comes to salaries and wages in the workplace. In 2015, on average women earn $7.24 per hour less than their men co-workers (20.23 vs. $27.47). (30) According to Statistics Canada, it is proven that even in a ‘white collar’ job, women on average earn $4.56 per hour less than their male co-workers who are assigned the same duties and job ($35.32 vs. $39.88). Women in all occupations are shown to earn less than men as men are advantaged more in society resulting in the gender wage gap. For instance, even in traditionally female occupations such as health services, education, administration, etc. women earn $4.60 per hour less than men ($23.66 vs. $28.26) and in retail or service occupations on average women earn $4.83 per hour less in comparison to men ($17.91 vs. $22.74)

A study that was conducted by the University of Ottawa in 2014 by the Education Policy Research Initiative showed that “male students who did the same course of study as females and graduated at the same time, earned an average of $10,000 more in their first year after graduation than their female cohorts. Thirteen years after graduation, that gap widened to $20,000.” (“The gender pay gap is not a myth. Here are 6 common claims debunked”).

Work Hours

On average women in general work fewer hours of paid work than men due to house care and childcare causing women to be part-time workers. According to Statistics Canada, “In 2015, 18.9% of employed women worked part-time, as did 5.5% of employed men. Put differently, three quarters (75.8%) of those working part‑time were women.” (Statistics Canada). This results in women’s careers to be frequently interrupted. It is a known fact that a woman plays a crucial in the upbringing of kids and in the having the house run smoothly. Thus, women are more likely to take leaves, scheduled absences, and long and short-term absences in comparison to men due to family emergencies such as if their child falls sick, they must stay home and look after it (Statistics Canada). According to Statistics Canada, in 2015, during the reference week, 30 % of women took off work, approximately 6.1% more than the percentage of men that were away. When surveyed 38.4 % of women were away for the full week whereas only 24.8% of men took that long of a leave. Although men and women both took days off for vacation purposes, women still had a higher ratio than men (57.1% vs. 72.4%) for being away for involuntary reasons instead of voluntary reasons such as illness, maternity leave, and familial issues. About 21.1 % of women were absent due to disability or sickness compared to the 18.2% of men gone for the same reason and about 21.7% of women were absent due to personal or family-related duties, compared to 9.3% of men who were gone for the same said reason. (Statistics Canada).


According to The Globe and Mail, “Of Canada’s top 500 companies, just 25 are led by female CEOs, and over the last 15 years, the percentage of Canadian women in senior corporate positions has improved marginally, from 14 percent to 18 percent.” (Glogovac, “The challenge for women to smash glass ceiling”). Leadership is a skill that isn’t gender based. It is a responsibility that one must attain in order to attain self-confidence, self-respect, and motivation. Women who can break through the glass ceiling in Corporate Canada have encountered challenges throughout their careers. For instance, Marina Glogovac dealt with the reoccurring obstacles throughout her career as so: Firstly, overt and covert prejudice. Marina was an immigrant woman and as her being an immigrant, she was assured that was the most unlikely candidate to reach the highest level of the executive suite. To control her response and to create the facade to hide her emotions from things that can hurt immensely, she developed internal fortitude. Secondly, unexamined judgment. As mentioned before in the world of occupation, men and women are viewed under a different lens. Thus, Marina also experienced through the stereotypical expectations as she was a female therefore, simple and men being stronger were tough. She says she encountered and talked about the stereotypical barriers based on gender with many people throughout her life which she does not regret one bit. Finally, an odd woman out. As Marina climbed towards success, she started to encounter fewer women because of which she often felt like an imposter and an outsider, however, she realized that her being the odd one out was not a weakness but a strength. She learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable (“Glogovac, “The challenge for women to smash glass ceiling”). This shows how leadership and courage helped Marina Glogovac break through the glass ceiling.

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“Glass Ceiling": Diversity in the Workplace. (2021, Feb 01). Retrieved from

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