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Glass Ceiling

The term glass ceiling refers to the unofficial exclusion of women and also racial and ethnic minorities, both women and men, from upper-management positions. Some sources credit the term to Katherine Lawrence and Maryanne Schreiber of Hewlett Packard, who introduced the concept to a July 1979 conference at the National Press Club. Gay Bryant, former editor of Working Woman magazine, who was shifting to editor of Family Circle, used the term in an interview with Nora Frenkel published in Adweek in March 1984. Carol Hymowitz and Timothy Schellhardt used the term in their March 1986 Wall Street Journal article to describe the invisible barriers that keep women from entering those positions in American corporations.

The glass ceiling phenomenon was studied extensively during the 1990s, and there ...

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