LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – It’s a struggle that women continue to face, landing leadership roles and having the support to succeed at work.
8 News Now spoke with women who said they hope by sharing their message, women and men can help up-and-coming generations.
It’s been years and years of working to break the glass ceiling. A metaphor that is still relevant in today’s world for businesswoman Jennifer Barber.
“It doesn’t matter how hard a woman works [or] how talented she is,” Barber shared. “That promotion should’ve been mine, but they brought in another person that is a male, a male figure.”
Barber added that it’s an outdated mindset.
“Women are seen as lesser, weaker types of you know leaders, that is sort of undertone that goes on in companies,” she expressed.
The term the glass ceiling was reportedly coined in the 1970s representing barriers that many women are up against [and] preventing them from achieving top leadership positions.
“We’ve done so much in the last couple of years to rise up to the occasion,” Barber said.
Many women pioneers overcame obstacles, from Sandra Day O’Connor to senators, such as the late Dianne Feinstein.
Deputy Secretary of State of Southern Nevada Margarita Salas Crespo said more needs to be done.
“Women have to work two to three times harder to be noticed or be acknowledged for the work,” Crespo said.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women are not paid as much as men. Women working full-time, year-round are paid 83.7% of what men are paid. This inequity is even greater for black and Hispanic women.
Professor of psychology Rachael Robnett and political science professor Dr. Tiffany Howard at UNLV agree.
“We’re still afraid to ask, to know our worth [and] that’s something I worked on myself,” Dr. Howard told 8 News Now.
8 News Now’s Ozzy Mora: What are some of the factors causing the glass ceiling effect?
Dr. Tiffany Howard: Feminized labor is never valued [and] we know this even in academia [there are] different spaces in the corporate world.
Rachael Robnett: The glass ceiling is even more difficult to get through if you are a woman of color.
Dr. Howard: There are so many assumptions, stereotypes, and negative stereotypes about what type of leader an African-American woman can be.
Robnett identified the situation as a glass cliff.
“The glass cliff is a situation where women of color, members of other minority groups are promoted to very precarious leadership situations where companies sort of spiraling down, they get promoted into this situation that is probably doomed from the start,” Robnett said.
Ozzy: Have you experienced the glass ceiling effect?
Dr. Howard: I would say I have over the last few years, I’ve applied for a number of different jobs. I always get to the final position, and then I see who gets hired, it’s never a woman [and] it’s never a woman of color.
Leaving many women like Barber, Crespo, Howard, and Robnett wondering if we can ever overcome this barrier.
“I don’t see it getting resolved in my lifetime,” Robnett said.
“No, I don’t think so,” Barber added. “I’d like to say that colors ..the color of my skin doesn’t play a part or my race, but it does.”
“I don’t think the glass ceiling effect is going to be resolved if we don’t address the underlying issues,” Crespo expressed.
However, some things are changing. For the first time, more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies are led by women, according to Fortune.
“Change is slow and very gradual, so I’m optimistic, and I want to celebrate that change,” Robnett shared.
Robnett and Dr. Howard told 8 News Now that even when a woman is in a leadership position, some corporations won’t make accommodations for women to be successful leaders.
Several of the women 8 News Now spoke with said they feel the pressure to show masculine qualities not to be shut out from leadership roles.
The professors also expressed that there needs to be more transparency in organizations when it comes to promotion and hiring practices.