Introduction Within the past few years, the numbers of women are holding the powerful positions increasingly, even in some industries and organizations which are mainly male-dominated. In addition, high percentage of women who are attending in the workplace or starting their own business have proved that they can do well what men can do in management roles. However, there still is a glass ceiling that women cannot break. This report will discuss three main barriers that women face to become leaders. Family life cycle stage
Childbearing year is a significant barrier for most of female managers. This is because they are invisible in the office in a long time by taking pregnancy leave. For instance, women in Irish can have 42 weeks away from work to take-care their newborn baby (Cross, 2010, p. 110). In contrast, male cannot have day off as long as women and it will not interrupt in their works. As a result, female are less likely to get promotion because they have “miss out on so much” while they take on the leave (Cross, 2010, p. 110).
Therefore, the problem for most of women leaderships is when they decide to having children. They have to choose between their family and career (Development manager, public sector organization in Cross, 2010, p. 110). Gender stereotype in workplaces According to Berthoin, Antal and Izraeli, the highest obstacle for women in leaderships is stereotype that “manager equals male” (1993 in Hoobler, Wayne and Lemmon, 2009, p. 941). In organizations, the contrast between the gender-typical stereotypes of men and women are extremely large.
Lyness and Heilman believe that women characteristics are generous and caring while men are strong to deal with difficult situations and capable to achieve their goals (2006 in Hoobler, Wayne and Lemmon, 2009, p. 942). In addition, stereotyping toward women’s roles, housewife and maternity, has deeply implanted in religious, cultural and social, so it is a problem which cannot be disappeared in one day. The prejudice that women face in organization is considered to be a greatest barrier in front of their career ladder (Nixdorff and Rosen, 2010, p. 1) The issue of family-work conflict Managers (both male and female) discern women as having considerable family-work conflict, so balancing jobs and household responsibilities are a significant problem, it like doing a “juggling act” (Darcy and MrCarthy, 2007 in Cross, 2010, p. 111). Family-work conflict will be a highest hurdle for female managers when they have young children. It is because care giving role requires time and attention.
Cross said that female leaders who do not have children were very attentive to get high positions, but until the first child was born they spend more time to take-care their newborn baby (2010, pp. 112-113). Thus, Mattis believe that women are less dedicated to their occupation because of child-rearing duties (Hoobler, Wayne and Lemmon, 2009, p. 942). As a result, women seem as unsuitable with leadership roles. Conclusions and Recommendation As the report has shown, there are three significant challenges women face in their development as leaders.
Firstly, a lack of visibility within the organization because of family life cycle state. Secondly, the greatest barrier for women to become leadership is pertained to sex stereotype in workplaces . Lastly, managers’ perception of family-work issue effect on their promotion. However, there have several solutions to overcome these problems, but it is may not come easily or in the near future. That is companies or organizations should have a clearly defined strategies or policies for female who want to achieve manager positions.
In addition, flexible work schedules are one of methods to overcome an obstacle of a family-work conflict. Furthermore, young women could attend single-sex education, it is because women thrive in environments which are less of male competitors and do not exist perspectives on gender stereotypes. Therefore, they may have more opportunities to develop leadership skills, and can increase the self-confidence and that can result from contact with the sample of successful women (Nixdorff and Rosen, 2010, p. 71).