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Susanne Bruckmüller, Michelle K. Ryan, S. Alexander Haslam & Kim Peters

In: The SAGE Handbook of Gender and Psychology

Chapter 27: Ceilings, Cliffs, and Labyrinths: ExploringMetaphors for Workplace Gender Discrimination

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Ceilings, Cliffs, and Labyrinths: ExploringMetaphors for Workplace Gender Discrimination
Ceilings, Cliffs, and Labyrinths: Exploring Metaphors for Workplace GenderDiscrimination
Susanne BruckmüllerMichelle K. RyanS. Alexander HaslamKim Peters
Introduction

It has been more than 25 years since the ‘glass ceiling’ metaphor was popularizedby the Wall Street Journal (Hymowitz & Schellhardt, 1986) to describe women’sinability to reach the upper echelons of leadership. Now metaphors abound to describe the challengesthat women and other underrepresented groups face in business and in politics. We have all manner ofstructural barriers that can contribute to gender inequality – from ‘stickyfloors’ (Booth, Francesconi, & Frank, 2003) to ‘maternal walls’ (J.Williams, 2001), from ‘leaky pipelines’ (Blickenstaff, 2005) to ‘glassescalators’ (C. L. Williams, 1992). There are also creative extensions of these metaphors.Some of these encapsulate the experience of other ...

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